Turkey postpones plan to sell firms seized after coup attempt

By bne IntelliNews March 24, 2017

Turkey has put on hold its plan to sell almost 600 companies worth about $10bn seized in the aftermath of the failed military coup, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on March 23.

The companies are part of the more than 850 firms last year confiscated by the government with estimated assets with a value of TRY48bn (€12.3bn), according to the news service.

In a massive purge since the crushed putsch, Turkey has dismissed more than 100,000 people from their workplaces and has seized the companies after citing links to US-based Fethullah Gulen, the cleric who Ankara claims was responsible for organising the attempt at overthrowing the government.

The government last December picked TSKB, Vera Varlik Yonetimi and Garanti Menkul Degerler to advise on the sale, but the Saving Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) has since neither held any meetings on strategy with the advisers nor signed a contract on the mandate to provide advice in the sale process, the sources said.

It is not clear whether the TMSF will ever go ahead with the sales because of concern over legal battles regarding their ownership, they added.

A government decree published in the official gazette on January 6 gave authority over any transactions in relation to the seized companies to Deputy PM Nurettin Canikli, Bloomberg said.

A TMSF executive reportedly said that Canikli’s office is to decide on the fate of the seized companies, limiting the fund's role.

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