dailyreckoning.com / By Frank Holmes / 03/13/13
In 2012, Turkey was the best performer among the emerging markets we track on our Periodic Table showing a decade of returns. All developing countries rose last year, but stocks in Turkey climbed an astounding 56 percent.
While visiting the country last week, I was happy to see my explicit knowledge of Turkey’s growth was supported by my tacit knowledge.
Istanbul has been in the midst of a fantastic transformation from an impoverished population to one of affluence. Popping up among the beautiful Ottoman mosques, Byzantine churches, palaces and bazaars are ultra-contemporary art sculptures, shopping malls and lush landscaping. This blend of ancient with modern fits well with the young, vibrant and culturally diverse crowd that hangs out in the local cafes, shops and galleries.
Investment managers like me aren’t the only ones showing increased interest in Turkey’s new-found prosperity. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Turkey during his first overseas trip as America’s top diplomat.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the powerhouse figure of the European Union, was also in Ankara recently to meet with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The topic of their discussion is not new, but suggests a “new chapter” for Turkey. These leaders are picking up the conversation started years ago regarding Turkey entering the European Union (EU).