Turkey is to put 51 percent of Turkish Airlines up for sale next week as it fulfills promises made in return for a $10 billion IMF aid package, a government official said Friday, December 8.
Details of the tender for Turkish Airlines (THY) would be released on December 14, the head of Turkey's privatization board, Ugur Bayar, told reporters here.
"All legal and technical work on the THY tender has been completed. It will be announced in the official gazette on Thursday," he said.
Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has announced the sale Wednesday, along with an agreement for the International Monetary Fund to release $10 billion in a crisis aid package.
Turkey ran into the arms of the IMF after suffering a severe liquidity crisis, and secured the $10 billion (11-billion-euro) funding package this week.
The cash crisis had wreaked havoc on the money markets and led to emergency injections of funds by the central bank, record interest rates and a slump on the stock exchange.
The prime minister also said Ankara would announce by December 14 a tender for the sale of the 33.5 percent of the Turkish Telekom, the dominant telecommunications operator.
Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer approved a government decree on the Telekom's sale, his office said Friday, opening the way for the government to announce the tender.
The sell-off of Turkish Telekom, a significant condition in Turkey's existing three-year, $4 billion stand-by deal with the Fund, had been delayed over disagreements between the governing coalition parties on how much control the foreign purchaser would wield.
But the government said last week that Telekom's prospective "strategic" foreign partner would have the majority vote.—(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)