State bank’s stakes to be put on sales

State bank’s stakes to be put on sales

ISTANBUL - Reuters
State bank’s stakes to be put on sales

A quarter stakes of Ziraat bank will be offered to public in 2014, sources say.

Turkey is planning to sell up to a quarter of Ziraat Bank, the country’s largest state-run lender, next year in what it hopes will be one of the country’s biggest stock market listings, sources close to the matter said.

The initial public offering (IPO) would be held in 2014 if international market conditions were favourable, the sources told to Retuers on Feb. 27.

No final decision yet

“It’s being planned for 2014 ... The planned initial free float rate will be between 20 to 25 percent,” one of the sources said, requesting anonymity because the plans had not yet been made public.

Ziraat is Turkey’s largest state-run bank and its second- largest by assets after Is Bank, with 162.9 billion Turkish liras in assets. Its net profit rose 26 percent last year to 2.65 billion lira.

General Manager Huseyin Aydin told Reuters this month that the bank was being prepared for a possible IPO although there was no final decision on the timing of a sale.

Ziraat, which has historically lent money to the agricultural sector, has in recent years widened its range of clients and added a focus on project finance. It plans to move its head office from Ankara to the business hub Istanbul. Turkey’s government has been focusing on large-scale privatisations in recent months, including a 4.5 billion lira secondary offering (SPO) of a 24 percent stake in Halkbank in November, its biggest ever share sale.

Turkey is also expected to seek an SPO in state-run lender Vakifbank in the third quarter of 2013, according to a source with knowledge of the subject.