NBG and J.P. Morgan Look at Turkey –

The National Bank of Greece (NBG) has teamed up with J.P. Morgan & Co.‘s private equity vehicle and Garanti Securities to set up a $100 million fund to invest in unlisted Turkish companies.

Each partner has committed $15 million to the fund, and it is hoped that a further $55 million will be raised from outside investors. The fund is aiming to make around 15 commitments of between $5 million and $10 million.

Mitso Tatis, managing director of NBG Venture Capital, the private equity division of the National Bank of Greece, said: “The combined expertise of the partners will allow the fund to make some very lucrative investments.” He outlined the two main reasons NBG chose to invest in the fund. He stressed that Turkey is within NBG’s regional focus and shows unlimited potential as one of the largest economies in the southeastern Mediterranean region.

Secondly, Tatis said, NBG sees a tremendous opportunity for private equity investments in Turkey, where there are currently a significant number of under-capitalized, over-leveraged companies. There is also limited competition, with only one other private equity fund dedicated to the Turkish market – AIG’s Blue Voyage $100 million fund, which was launched in February of this year. He added that NBG will be able to bring invaluable experience when investing the fund, given that the current status of the Turkish equity market is very similar to that of the Greek market around 35 years ago.