Turk Telekom stake sale in Feb
Ankara, December 18, 2012
Turkey will sell a stake of around 7 per cent in its biggest telecoms company, Turk Telekom , through a secondary public offering in February, sources close to the matter said.
Work on selling part of the state's 32 per cent stake intensified after the government successfully raised 4.5 billion lira ($2.5 billion) from selling part of state-controlled lender Halkbank last month, the sources said.
"The current projection is that the 6.68 per cent stake will be sold through a public offering in the first quarter of 2013," a source with knowledge of the issue said.
"A block sale is highly unlikely for a sale of this size."
Based on its current share price, Turk Telecom's market value is around 24 billion lira.
Dubai-based Oger Telecom - part owned by Saudi Telecom - holds 55 per cent, while 13.3 per cent is traded on the Istanbul Stock Exchange after the company was privatised for $1.87 billion in 2008.
"The most important factor for the success of such sales is timing. For this reason, we can expect the SPO to take place in mid-February, when the 2012 financial results will be released," another source close to the process told Reuters.
The Halkbank sale last month, Turkey's biggest ever share sale, showed a shift in the government's privatisation strategy was starting to bear fruit.
Disappointing privatisation receipts have put pressure on government finances in recent years, with high valuations and tough funding conditions due to the euro zone debt crisis forcing the postponement of several tenders.
But Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek told Reuters in September that the government was modifying its strategy to include secondary public offerings and to focus on raising revenue.
The Turkish Privatisation Administration still holds a 49 per cent stake in flag-carrier Turkish Airlines and 51 percent of Halkbank.-Reuters