ISTANBUL: Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund will take over insurance and pension companies owned by state lenders and consolidate them in an effort to increase their global competitive power, it said on Friday.

The Turkish Wealth Fund (TVF) said it expected to complete the plan in the first quarter of next year and that the move would contribute to operational efficiency.

“We believe that Turkey’s insurance sector would have an independent and dynamic structure and its global competitive power would increase with the right structural steps,” it said in a statement.

The fund, worth some $50 billion, was set up in 2016 by the government to develop and increase the value of Turkey’s strategic assets and provide resources for investment.

The government has previously transferred to the TVF stakes worth billions of dollars of state assets, including stakes in flag carrier Turkish Airlines, major banks and fixed-line operator Turk Telekom.

The fund will take over companies including Gunes Sigorta, Halk Sigorta and Ziraat Sigorta as well as pension companies Halk Hayat, Ziraat Hayat and Vakif Emeklilik, according to stock exchange filings by firms.