The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani has given a Boeing 747-8 to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The National
The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani has given a Boeing 747-8 to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The National

Qatar gifts Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan $400 million luxury jet


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The Emir of Qatar has given one of the world’s largest and most expensive private jets to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani presented the Boeing 747-8, worth an estimated $400 million (Dh1.47 billion), as a symbol of “Thani’s special love for Erdogan,” according to Turkey’s state-run broadcaster TRT.

The jet, which landed at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport from France on Thursday, previously served in Qatar’s VIP Amiri Flight fleet, which caters exclusively to the royal family of Qatar and other high-ranking government staff.

The 76-metre plane is the longest passenger aircraft in the world and can carry up to 467 passengers in a typical configuration.

But the wide-body jet given to President Erdogan is outfitted to carry only 76 passengers and 18 crew, with the interior filled with staterooms, lounges, boardrooms, first class seating and even a hospital.

Qatar has pursued closer ties with Turkey as the Gulf crisis escalated after the Arab Quartet severed ties with Doha in June 2017 over its support for extremism.

The gift of the jet, which will join Turkey’s presidential fleet, comes amid a growing economic crisis in Turkey. The lira has lost more than 40 per cent of its value this year, but President Erdogan has refused to implement austerity measures or call on the International Monetary Fund to help stabilise the economy.

Last month, during a visit to Ankara, Sheikh Thani offered $15 billion direct investment to Turkey.

Qatar retains a fleet of wide and narrow-body Airbus jets to carry its royals in luxury.

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What should do investors do now?

What does the S&P 500's new all-time high mean for the average investor? 

Should I be euphoric?

No. It's fine to be pleased about hearty returns on your investments. But it's not a good idea to tie your emotions closely to the ups and downs of the stock market. You'll get tired fast. This market moment comes on the heels of last year's nosedive. And it's not the first or last time the stock market will make a dramatic move.

So what happened?

It's more about what happened last year. Many of the concerns that triggered that plunge towards the end of last have largely been quelled. The US and China are slowly moving toward a trade agreement. The Federal Reserve has indicated it likely will not raise rates at all in 2019 after seven recent increases. And those changes, along with some strong earnings reports and broader healthy economic indicators, have fueled some optimism in stock markets.

"The panic in the fourth quarter was based mostly on fears," says Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist for Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company. "The fundamentals have mostly held up, while the fears have gone away and the fears were based mostly on emotion."

Should I buy? Should I sell?

Maybe. It depends on what your long-term investment plan is. The best advice is usually the same no matter the day — determine your financial goals, make a plan to reach them and stick to it.

"I would encourage (investors) not to overreact to highs, just as I would encourage them not to overreact to the lows of December," Mr Schutte says.

All the same, there are some situations in which you should consider taking action. If you think you can't live through another low like last year, the time to get out is now. If the balance of assets in your portfolio is out of whack thanks to the rise of the stock market, make adjustments. And if you need your money in the next five to 10 years, it shouldn't be in stocks anyhow. But for most people, it's also a good time to just leave things be.

Resist the urge to abandon the diversification of your portfolio, Mr Schutte cautions. It may be tempting to shed other investments that aren't performing as well, such as some international stocks, but diversification is designed to help steady your performance over time.

Will the rally last?

No one knows for sure. But David Bailin, chief investment officer at Citi Private Bank, expects the US market could move up 5 per cent to 7 per cent more over the next nine to 12 months, provided the Fed doesn't raise rates and earnings growth exceeds current expectations. We are in a late cycle market, a period when US equities have historically done very well, but volatility also rises, he says.

"This phase can last six months to several years, but it's important clients remain invested and not try to prematurely position for a contraction of the market," Mr Bailin says. "Doing so would risk missing out on important portfolio returns."

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