İzmir Port stakes transferred to Turkey’s wealth fund

İzmir Port stakes transferred to Turkey’s wealth fund

İZMİR - Doğan News Agency
İzmir Port stakes transferred to Turkey’s wealth fund Turkey has transferred stakes in İzmir Port, which has been in privatization portfolio since 2007, to the Turkish Wealth Fund, in a bid to help finance giant infrastructure projects. 

The stake transfer was informed to respective authorities, according to sources. 

The wealth fund will have the authority to rent, transfer or sell the port. 

Turkey transferred stakes worth billions of dollars in Ziraat Bank, the Borsa Istanbul stock exchange, Turkish Airlines and state-owned pipeline operator BOTAŞ, among others, to the new sovereign wealth fund on Feb. 5 and 6. 

The fund will never interfere with the management strategies of these companies, the government said in response to criticisms from opposition groups. 

A tender was opened in May 2007 to privatize the İzmir Port, owned by the State Railways (TCDD) for a 49-year period. A consortium comprised of Hurchison, Global and EİB LİMAŞ won the tender for $1.275 billion, but the execution was suspended by the Council of State following a 29-month trial process. A second tender was held in September 2012; yet the new plan was strongly opposed by non-governmental organizations and local authorities as it included malls and similar structures, which would extend the area too much. The Privatization High Board posted a revised plan in June, which was opposed by the Konak Municipality. The authority, however, rejected the complaint.