Guardian.co.uk - Turkey is committed to an initial public offering (IPO) of the country's largest bank, Ziraat, said the country’s Economy Minister Ali Babacan, in what could be the first major privatization since 2008. The minister also said the government wants to sell more shares in state-controlled lenders Halkbank and Vakifbank.
The last major IPO in Turkey was held in 2008, a 15 percent stake in landline operator Turk Telekom fetched USD 1.9 billion, the country's largest ever amount in dollar terms. Turkey must take into consideration global developments before offering stakes in the lenders, Babacan told reporters on Thursday. The government slowed asset sales during the global downturn. "We want to increase the public offerings of Halkbank and Vakifbank and have done work on Ziraat's first public offering", said Babacan. "We have to act in line with global developments."
The government retained 75 percent stakes in Halkbank and Vakifbank after their IPOs in 2007 and 2005 respectively. Ziraat Bank had assets worth TRY 120.8 billion (approx. USD 83.25 billion) at the end of September, according to the latest data available from the Banks Association of Turkey. Ziraat traditionally makes agricultural loans.
Vakifbank has assets worth TRY 60.9 billion, making it the sixth largest Turkish lender whereas Halkbank, Turkey's seventh largest bank, has assets worth TRY 57.2 billion.