The sale of the state-owned distributor Petrol Ofisi (POAS) and refineries owned by Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation (Tupras) is due to go ahead by early September, opening up the oil sector to international and local investors. The privatisation is expected to be completed by the end of 1995 or early 1996, industry sources say.

The government is to offer a controlling stake in POAS which will involve the sale of between 40-51 per cent to a strategic investor. The remaining shares will be sold to the public. POAS is already listed on the Istanbul stock exchange, but only 6 per cent is held by the public.

The Tupras privatisation involves the separate sale of three refineries to either international or local industrial specialists. There will be no public offering. The refineries are the 235,000-barrel-a-day (b/d) Izmit refinery, the 205,000-b/d Izmir refinery and the 100,000-b/d Kirkkale refinery. Tupras will continue to hold on to its smallest refinery in eastern Anatolia.

The Privatisation Administration (OIB) approved the privatisation of POAS in July, and the Tupras sale earlier in the year. The government has appointed a consortium of four advisers for the sale led by Chase Investment Bank with Salomon Brothers International, Kleinwort Benson and Global Securities.