Turkey to launch more infrastructure privatizations

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Turkey to launch more infrastructure privatizations

The Turkish government has announced it is preparing for a fresh round of major privatizations, mainly consisting of national infrastructure, Finance Minister Mehmet Åžim?ek said a couple of days ago.

Åžim?ek told the local press that the assets to be privatized include highways, bridges, power plants, ports, a state-run insurance firm and the Erzurum winter sports facility.

The Finance Minister also said that the recent sale of the power grid has resulted in declining losses from power leakages and income for the goverment.

However, several electricity and gas grid privatizations were canceled or faced problems due to the lack of adequate buyers for the assets.

In 2013, Mehmet Åžim?ek announced that the Supreme Privatization Board (ÖYK) had cancelled a $5.7 billion tender for the privatization of highways and bridges. This tender would have given the winning consortium of Koc Holding (40 %), Malaysia's UEM Gorup Berhad (40 %) and Gözde Giri?im (20%) the operating rights for the 2,000 kilometer Edirne-Istanbul-Ankara highway as well as for Istanbul's two bridges for the next 25 years.

Along with the tenders, the government's plans to publicly offer the cable TV operations run by Türksat, the transfer of lines owned by the pipeline company Bota?, some 49 percent of the state-owned stake in the Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TE?AÅž), and the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO).

His ministry is also still working on the controversial privatization of Haydarpa?a, an urban project at the historic Haydarpa?a Train Station on the Anatolian side of Istanbul.

Successive Turkish governments have cashed in a total of around $70 billion from privatizations since 1986.

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