According to figures from FIDER, the
Turkish leasing association, the number of new contracts signed by
leasing companies in Turkey decreased from 51,519 contracts in 2007
to 19,878 in 2008, a fall of over 60 percent.

Overall leasing penetration in the country was
7 percent, a slight fall from the previous year’s 7.7 percent. The
total value of the equipment being leased also fell to $5.3 billion
(€4.1 billion), down from $8.2 billion the previous year, a 35
percent decline.

Excluding real estate, the sectors suffering
the greatest decreases were textile machinery (down 79 percent),
electronic and optical equipment (down 51.1 percent), construction
machinery (down 44 percent) and vehicles (down 43.9 percent).
However, riding above the storm was printing equipment which saw a
rise of 26 percent, to $289.9 million, and office equipment and
computers, which rose 25.6 percent to $584.1 million.

Established in 1994, and representing 36
members today, FIDER member companies account for 90 percent of the
country’s leasing volume.

According to Bülent Tasar, the association’s
chairman, who is also managing director of Siemens Financial
Services’ Turkish subsidiary (see page 44), the credit crisis has
changed the Turkish leasing landscape and opened some new growth
opportunities for international lessors.

For example, Tasar pointed out that more
captive lessors – such as Volvo, MAN, Hitachi and Caterpillar –
have entered the market, taking advantage of the opportunities of
improving margin by taking asset or residual value risks on their
parents’ assets.

In terms of prospects for lessors, Tasar said:
“New financial openings, like operating leasing, sale and leaseback
and software leasing will increase the growth rate and penetration.
We might also see bigger deals via syndication.”

Indeed, Hitachi Capital UK recently announced
that it would be launching a cross-border syndication initiative
for which it was looking for finance partners in Turkey (see page

Jason T Hesse