TURKEY: PTT bond mandate issued

04 March 1994

A group comprising S G Warburg, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers and Banque Indosuez has won the mandate to sell convertible bonds in the Posts, Telegraphs & Telephones (PTT) Administration valued at a total of $2,000 million. The bonds will be exchangeable for equity in the PTT's telecommunications division once it is privatised.

The move is part of a plan to ease the government's economic difficulties in the spring through privatisation and external borrowing, Prime Minister Tansu Ciller said on 16 February. The treasury recently also issued mandates for Turkey's first global bond offering, valued at a total of $750 million, and launched another $725 million issue on the samurai bond market in Japan (MEED 18:2:94).

The PTT issue will follow the global issue. The government also hopes to raise about $500 million in March from the sale of the state's stake in leading car-maker and Fiat licensee Tofas and its distributor, Tofas Oto (MEED 4:2:94, page 30). In total, the government hopes to raise $2,660 million from privatisation in 1994, rising to $18,030 million in 1995 (MEED 18:2:94).

Preparations to sell the telecoms division were derailed in the autumn by the constitutional court, which cancelled a decree providing for the separation of the division from the PTT's loss-making postal services, and an end to its monopoly on the distribution of telephone lines. Draft enabling legislation which the government will shortly submit to parliament would allow the government to remove such obstacles to the privatisation programme. The Public Participation Administration (KOI), which oversees privatisation, expects to complete the sale of the telecoms division by June 1995.

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