Privatization and IPO winds to blow faster in 2008

Today's Zaman - After fours years of record-breaking privatization revenue, the government is expecting another bright year in 2008 as it plans for an estimated yield of YTL 11.8 billion from the sale of state-owned companies. Despite the sales of major state economic enterprises such as Turk Telekom, TUPRAS and Erdemir for billions of dollars over the course of the last five years, the government's IPO and privatization agenda for this year is still full. The run will start with the privatization of Tekel's tobacco division. The transfer of the operating rights of toll roads and bridges and the initial public offering of 15 percent of shares in Turk Telekom will follow. The privatization process for electricity distribution rights is also expected to get under way this year. Public banks, especially Halkbank and Ziraat, will be among the most significant privatization discussions. Sugar refineries and the Turkish State Railways' (TCDD) ports are other valuable assets to be presented to the private sector in 2008.