Istanbul to have its own arbitration court

Istanbul to have its own arbitration court

CANNES - Anatolia News Agency
Istanbul to have its own arbitration court

Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan delivers a speech on ‘Turkish economy and investment opportunities’ at International real estate expo MIPIM in Cannes. AA photo

Turkey is set to establish a privately managed arbitration center in Istanbul in which companies can apply to solve their problems before filing lawsuits at courts, the deputy prime minister has said.

“We’re establishing a new body which will be mainly managed by private-sector representatives for companies to be able solve their problems and disputes at a center also headed by the private sector,” Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said.

The body will not sideline the judiciary but will help solve problems if both parties are willing.

The minister also hinted that Turkey may conduct a secondary public offering for state-run
lender Vakıfbank in the second half of the year, adding that its free float could be raised from 25 to
49 percent.

“Vakıfbank is the priority in public offerings. I see the possibility of an initial public offering for Ziraat Bank this year as quite low,” Babacan said.

Touching on the public offering process of another state-run bank, Halkbank, he implied that funding for privatizations was not easy, as the director-general of the lender had to tour various
countries in order to make the privatizations happen. The minister also said the government
had prepared a code for the establishment of the Arbitration Center to focus mainly on private-sector disputes.

“Before applying to the court, the private sector [should be able] to solve its disputes at an institution operated by the private sector,” he said.

Babacan also scuttled speculation that Turkey’s Central Bank and Bourse Istanbul headquarters would move to the new Istanbul Financial Center to be built on the Anatolian side of the city. “We don’t know what will happen in five or 10 years, but their current locations are already good,” he said.

Last week, the Central Bank announced it had completed the purchase of land in the Anatolian-side district of Ataşehir at the Istanbul Financial Center, raising speculation about a possible move, but Babacan said only the lender’s Istanbul offices would move to the new location.