TBY talks to Serdar Paksoy, Senior Partner of Paksoy, on the new Capital Markets Law, sources of foreign interest, and advice for investors.

Serdar Paksoy
A graduate of Istanbul Law School, Serdar Paksoy has been a practicing lawyer since 1985. He is a listed arbitrator for the International Arbitral Center of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. Paksoy is also a member of the Istanbul Bar, the International Bar Association, the British Chamber of Commerce in Istanbul, the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Turkey, and an honorary member of the Center for International Legal Studies and the Corporate Governance Association of Turkey. He is currently Senior Partner of Paksoy Istanbul.

How does Paksoy leverage its experience and reputation to provide the most innovative and expert advice for its clients?

Our experience and reputation creates value for clients because we focus on solutions and on what the client receives from our contribution to their business. We are aware of our strengths and what clients expect and don't expect from us; therefore, we put emphasis on value rather than costs and time. We emphasize our differentiation from our competition in terms of solutions and bring problem-solvers instead of specific products, services, or expertise.

How will the new Capital Markets Law affect the regulatory environment for investors?

There are several driving forces behind the preparation of a new Capital Markets Law. Among them, the most important ones are the alignment of Turkish capital markets law with the European Union acquis communautaire, the reflection of changes introduced by the new Turkish Commercial Code into the capital markets' legislation, the update of the outdated capital markets law with new concepts, and the experience gained over the recent years of economic crises. Fortunately, all these targets are met to a significant extent and, as a result, we may say that with the new Capital Markets Law, the capital markets will be more transparent. The capital markets' entities will be more trustworthy, efficient, and financially stable; the markets' infrastructure will be close to its globally known equivalents, the capital markets will be easily accessible, and, most importantly, investors will be well protected and safer than before.

How would you characterize the regulatory environment for foreign investors in Turkey?

In the last decade, Turkey has adopted an investor-friendly attitude to all foreign and domestic businesses, having ratified significant legal and regulatory changes. These include the liberalization of markets, easing red tape, reducing formalities, marshaling the procedures in setting up companies, as well as improving corporate governance rules. The Turkish government, along with regulators in telecommunications, media, securities, and banking, issued quite a lot of regulations and took measures aligned with EU standards to ensure and oversee a reliable, predictable, transparent, and efficient legal and regulatory landscape for investors. These were very positive steps aimed at improving the country's investment environment in a vast array of sectors, thus fostering a palpable increase in foreign direct investment flows.

“The first half of 2013 has proven to be very positive with increasing activity in M&A."

In which sectors do you expect to see the greatest amount of interest from foreign investors over the coming year?

Energy, health care, media, as well as financial services, including insurance, pension, and asset management, will continue to see an increased amount of interest from foreign investors.

What is your outlook for international investment and M&A activity in Turkey over the coming year?

The first half of 2013 has proven to be very positive with increasing activity in M&A, despite the financial and political predicament in eurozone countries, which include Turkey's main trading partners such as Greece, Italy, and Spain. I expect more M&A activity by private equity and strategic investors, particularly from China, Korea, and Japan, in the second half of the year with more focus on energy, infrastructure, financial services, and health care.

What advice would you offer for foreign companies looking to invest in Turkey?

I would say there are a lot of opportunities, ample investment, and potential growth areas in Turkey that provide a friendly investment climate to foreign investors. It is time to explore these opportunities by investing in this country. When doing so, they need to reach competent, experienced, and innovative advisors and lawyers who can add value to their investments and act along with them in providing solutions.