Zorlu shares surge on hopes Turkey normalizing Israel ties

Zorlu shares surge on hopes Turkey normalizing Israel ties

ISTANBUL - Reuters
Zorlu shares surge on hopes Turkey normalizing Israel ties Shares in Turkey’s Zorlu Energy, which is involved in energy projects in Israel, surged as much as 10 percent on Dec. 18 after an Israeli official said a preliminary deal had been reached with Turkey to normalize relations.

The announcement, which comes at a critical time for both countries, could have widespread implications, particularly when it comes to energy.

Turkish officials confirmed that talks had taken place but denied any agreement had been finalized, adding efforts to normalize relations were continuing.

In the early morning, Zorlu Energy shares were 10.32 percent higher at 1.39 liras.

Zorlu Energy has a 25 percent stake in Dorad Energy, which owns an 840 megawatt (MW) power plant in Israel built with an investment of $1.2 billion that came online in May 2014.

“The company’s shares are on the rise on expectations that ties between the two countries will be restored,” Oyak Securities analyst Alper Erginol said.

“The company’s name was also among those interested in the potential construction of a natural gas pipeline between the two countries,” Erginol added.

Reuters reported in October 2013 that Zorlu Energy was in talks with Israeli firms over the potential for a pipeline to carry Israeli gas to Turkey, but a political rift was holding up the process.

Separately, on Dec. 17 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a deal giving long-awaited approval for the development of the Leviathan natural gas field off Israel’s coast.

Israel has also recently held discussions with Greek Cyprus and Greece on developing regional ties, including on energy, with their most recent trilateral talks on Dec. 16.