Turkey wants to join the EU club, but not all of its members want it. The more open the country is to foreign business, and the more willing it is to sell state assets to overseas companies, then the better its chances of being allowed in. Therefore, the move announced by Vodafone yesterday, to buy Turkey’s second biggest mobile phone network provider, Telsim for $4.5bn, has added significance. The company has nine million customers, giving it 25% of the Turkish market, but the business is growing fast, having put on 2.8million in its last financial year – ended June. But the move will cost Vodafone more than just the purchase price. The world’s number one wireless operator has said that it will need to invest $1bn in upgrading the Telsim network.

Vodafone chief executive, Arun Sarin said, “With a larger population than every European country except Germany, and a penetration level of approximately 53%, the Turkish market represents a major growth opportunity.”

© Investment & Business News 2013