Islamic bond may be linked to third bridge

Islamic bond may be linked to third bridge

ANKARA - Reuters
Islamic bond may be linked to third bridge

Istanbul’s Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge is seen in this photo. Revenues from a planned bridge over the Bosphorus may be linked to Turkey’s first sukuk. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Turkey may issue its first sukuk, an Islamic finance tool, to be linked to the toll revenues of a planned bridge over the Bosphorus, daily Vatan claimed without quoting sources. The Treasury has already started a study on the issue, the newspaper said.

The paper said Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan’s Jan. 30 speech at a Capital Markets Board (SPK) meeting in Istanbul was a signal for the attempt. Turkey may issue its first sukuk this year, Babacan said at the meeting.

“The financing of the investment will be provided somehow,” Babacan told local broadcaster CNBC-e during last week’s Davos meeting, commenting on Turkey’s bid to build a third bridge over the Bosphorus to ease traffic in the city.

Turkey’s first attempt to find a contractor for a 414 km highway project that includes the third bridge failed as all of the 18 registered companies for a build-operate-transfer model tender failed to place a bid by the deadline of Jan. 10. The government then decided to divide the project into two pieces to ease financing for possible contractors.

“The project will be limited to the third bridge and its link roads. So the cost of the project will come down to $2.5 billion from $6 billion,” Babacan said at Davos.

The new tender date has been set as April 5 for the Northern Marmara Highway Project.

Closed bids will be received no sooner than seven days before the tender date.

With the shift in the initial scheme, only the bridge and 60 km of link roads will be built by the build-operate-transfer scheme. The remaining parts will be financed from the public budget.