Turkey transfers huge stakes to fund

Turkey transfers huge stakes to fund

Turkey has transferred stakes worth billions of dollars in Ziraat Bank, the Borsa Istanbul stock exchange, Turkish Airlines and state-owned pipeline operator BOTAŞ, among others, to a new sovereign wealth fund, in a bid to help finance giant infrastructure projects.

The transfers were announced in two separate statements on Feb. 5 and 6, stirring strong criticism from various opposition deputies and economists, mainly due to its audit-free structure and a complicated financing structure, along with the treasury and the finance ministry, which they say may pave the way for destruction of the country’s fiscal discipline.

The state’s 49.1 percent stake in flag carrier Turkish Airlines – worth roughly $1 billion – and its 51.1 percent of lender Halkbank – worth some $2 billion – have been transferred to the fund, a statement from the government’s privatisation administration said on Feb. 6.

Stakes in state-owned Ziraat Bank, the country’s biggest lender, the Borsa Istanbul stock exchange and state-owned pipeline operator BOTAŞ have also been transferred, according to an announcement on the Official Gazette on Feb. 5.

Other assets that were moved to the fund include stakes in fixed-line operator Türk Telekom, oil company TPAO, the PTT post office, satellite communications company TÜRKSAT, Eti Maden mining company and tea producer ÇAYKUR.  READ MORE: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-transfers-stakes-worth-billions-in-major-public-companies-to-wealth-fund.aspx?pageID=238&nID=109384&NewsCatID=344

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