05 Dec, 2011

Allen & Overy establishes Turkish presence with Istanbul launch


Allen & Overy today (Dec. 5) has announced the launch of an office in Istanbul to capitalise on the increasing flow of work it is undertaking in Turkey.


Banking partner Charles Lindsay will move to Istanbul from London to head up A&O’s Turkey practice. The office will focus on English law project finance, capital markets, general lending and M&A work.


Commenting, Allen & Overy global managing partner Wim Dejonghe (pictured) said: “Turkey is a market that we have been watching for some time. Turkey’s strong economy, extensive privatisation programme, pressing demand for infrastructure investment and emerging status as an energy hub, present an immense opportunity for both Allen & Overy and our clients. We see significant opportunities to build on the work we already do in Turkey for clients in our core areas of expertise such as project finance, capital markets, general lending and M&A. Having someone of Charles’s calibre and experience to lead the team will ensure we get our new office off to the very best start possible.”


In its September 2011 World Economic Outlook the International Monetary Fund forecast GDP growth of 6.6% for Turkey in 2011 – higher than for any other market in Europe. GDP growth is expected to stabilise at around 5% over the medium term.


Under current projections Turkey will, by 2050, rank second only to Germany in terms of GDP in Europe. It is also expected to be upgraded to investment grade in the short- to medium-term, opening the market to a much larger pool of investors.


In order to meet demand for new infrastructure and to support the government’s privatisation programme it is estimated that private financing of USD50 billion will be required by 2015. As such, Turkey not only presents great domestic opportunities but also opportunities for international debt and equity financings.


Favourable changes to withholding tax laws on interest payments on bonds, coupled with a series of high profile international bond issues by Turkish banks into the U.S. under Rule 144A, on which Allen & Overy has advised (Akbank, İşbank, Garantibank, Turk Exim Bank), have also paved the way for the debt capital markets to open up to foreign investors.


The launch underlines Allen & Overy’s strategy of continuing to increase the revenue it generates from high growth markets around the world.


Karen Lee, senior associate in Allen & Overy’s ICM practice in London, will also be moving to Istanbul to support the development of A&O’s capital markets practice in Turkey. Seyda Duman, a banking associate in London and fluent Turkish speaker, will also be joining the team in Istanbul.

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