June 1, 2017 / 10:04 AM / 8 months ago

Nasper's Turkish e-commerce firm Markafoni to shut down

ANKARA, June 1 (Reuters) - Turkish e-commerce and fashion company Markafoni, owned by South African media and internet giant Naspers, will shut down at the end of June, the company announced on Thursday without elaborating on the cause for its closure.

Markafoni said all its operations would continue under current regulations and rules until June 30, but gave no reason for the closure, but Turkish media reports said one of Turkey’s largest online retailers was not making a profit. The company was also not immediately available for comment.

“We are sadly concluding activities on our website as of 30 June 2017. We thank all of you for the support and trust you have shown us since we were established in 2008,” the statement on the website said.

Naspers, made powerful by its 33 percent stake in Chinese internet giant Tencent, own bought Markafoni from its founder in 2014 as Turkey’s small, yet growing, e-commerce market drew international investors.

Although Turkey’s growing e-commerce market has been fuelled by a young, tech savvy population, it stood at 24.7 billion lira ($6.99 billion) in 2015, accounting for only 2 percent of total retail revenue according to the Turkish Informatics Industry Association.

While global investor enthusiasm for Turkey has cooled in recent years due to rising security and political concerns, its demographics and growth potential remain the envy of Europe.

The country is home to 79 million people with a median age of just over 30, younger than anywhere else in Europe. By 2050, the population is expected to swell to 93 million, while much of the rest of Europe ages. ($1 = 3.5339 liras) (Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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