Six international consortia were due to submit technical offers by 1 December for advisory services on the privatisation of Turk Telekomunikasyon (Turk Telekom) to the government’s Privatisation Adminstration (OIB). The sell-off planned in 1996 will be the largest yet in the government’s privatisation programme.

The six were:

Banque Paribas, Kleinwort Benson, and Bear Stearns & Company

Goldman Sachs, Lazard Freres, UBS, Barclays de Zoete Wedd, and Nikko Securities

JP Morgan & Company, NM Rothschild, and Merrill Lynch

Lehman Brothers, Nomura Securities, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Grenfell

Morgan Stanley, SG Warburg, Citibank and Yamaichi Securities

Salomon Brothers, Banque Indosuez Capital Markets, Daiwa Securities and Schroder Securities

The successful consortium will provide consultancy services for the international offering of shares in Turk Telekom. According to legislation passed this year, 39 per cent of Turk Telekom can be offered to private individuals and other entities, while a maximum of 15 per cent can be transferred to the company’s employees and retired personnel. The left over shares will remain in state ownership or control.

The telecoms flotation is expected to provide much of the original $20,000 million targeted in the 1996 privatisation. The process was expected to begin in the autumn with the sale of such services as, mobile phones, pay phones and video text. But analysts say it now seems inevitable, in the face of general elections on 24 December, that the telecoms flotation and other major deals, such as refinery sales, will be deferred well into 1996.

Progress will then depend on the political make-up of the government to emerge from the elections, analysts say (see above). When in office, former head of OIB, Ufuk Soylemez, said privatisation was a necessary process in Turkey and should not be the subject of political interference. However, he recently resigned along with other senior bureaucrats so as to stand in the elections.