Özal daughter investing $400m in Iran

June 23, 2011 - 0:0
Zeynep Özal, daughter of the late Turgut Özal, Turkey’s eighth president, has entered the construction sector in Iran with various projects estimated to be worth $400 million. The Özal Investment Group’s first project in the Islamic republic is to construct a 32-story shopping center, Özal told daily Hürriyet. “We have invested nearly $56 million so far. This figure will reach a total of $400 million with the addition of two other projects to be constructed,” she said. “There is only one Carrefour supermarket in Iran; there are no shopping centers there. There is especially a need for restaurants in the country.” Be?ir Yayla, owner of Selçuk ?n?aat, is Özal’s partner in the construction business in Iran. “Yayla knows very well the construction sector and I know how to work abroad very well. As such, we decided to establish a joint company. Now, we are constructing a 32-story shopping center and we are developing new projects,” Özal said. “Our sole problem in Iran is receiving letters of guarantee,” Özal said. “Lenders do not want to give this letter to businesses in Iran due to the sanctions imposed by the United States (on account of the Islamic republic’s nuclear program). This problem should be solved.” The U.S. has imposed pressure on Turkish lenders to restrict their businesses with Iran. Özal said relations between Iran and Turkey had been improving in recent times. “Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has built very good bridges for me,” she said. “Turkish constructors are directed to Iran. Turkey had only two flights to Iran before, but now the number of flights has increased and the size of the airplanes has been enlarged.” (Source: Hurriyetdailynews)