Christmas Turkey Or Turkey Sandwich ?

Its been a Turkey sandwich year. Sandwiched between the Syrian conflict, Iran nuclear impasse and its own internal strife and riots. Its economy not flourishing as it had in the past, unemployment soaring back up towards 10% and its currency under stress.

Khazanah, the Malaysian government’s investment arm, has nonetheless found it fit to open their fourth regional office in Istanbul this month, after Beijing, Mumbai and San Francisco, and acquire a 90% stake in Turkey’s leading health and life insurer for USD 252 million.

This says something especially when the MYRTRL is trading at a historical high this month.

MYRTRL historical chart

Chart : MYRTRL since 2000.

Although the investment stake is hardly significant in the scheme of importance for Khazanah had paid SGD 3.5 billion for Singapore’s Parkway Health back in 2010. Khazanah already has Turkish exposure when their subsidiary, IHH, the world’s second-biggest health-care provider by market value, acquired Turkey’s largest hospital group last year.

Singapore is, too, venturing into Turkey with Clifford Capital’s investment in Turkey’s Mersin Port sometime in August. SGDTRL is also at a historic high this month.

sgdtrl historic chart

Turkey is no turkey with the 17th largest nominal GDP in the world and strategically positioned between the Europe and Asia. It stands as a bastion between Europe and the politic melee of her neighbours in Syria (400,000 refugees and counting), Egypt, Iran and Iraq. And as it happens, Middle Eastern conflict has been cited by the World Economic Forum as the key risk for 2014 by global leaders.

Currently, still a US ally with American Patriot missile batteries in her borders, Turkey is now everybody’s friend after they bought their first Chinese anti missile system this month.

And considering the number of oil and gas pipelines in Turkey, we can rest assured that its importance will not be under threat for many Christmasses to come.

A nice Christmas idea : run SGDTRL or MYRTRL short term carry positive trade and earn 8% p.a. for SGDTRL. Market position remains light on Turkey and we have time and Yellen on our side.