Turkish FinMin: Lottery privatisation to be completed by January, EUR 2.2bn repatriated under wealth amnesty scheme.

By bne IntelliNews November 6, 2013

The government hopes to complete the privatisation of the national lottery company Milli Piyango by January at the latest, finance minister Mehmet Simsek said on Tuesday.

A tender will be announced in November, Simsek added. The government is expected to hold a tender for 10-year licences for games operated by Milli Piyango. The government had held a tender in 2009 for the lottery company with a minimum price of USD 1.62bn. But, the bids placed in this tender were below the minimum price, consequently the tender was cancelled.

The government may also complete the privatisation of Spor Toto, the country's sole legal public betting company, by the end of the year, sources familiar with the issue told the daily Milliyet earlier this week.

Simsek also said on Tuesday that TRY 6.1bn (EUR 2.2bn) had been repatriated under the wealth amnesty scheme as of November 5. TRY 67.4bn worth of funds have been declared and the government collected TRY 121mn tax from repatriated funds, Simsek added. Parliament passed a bill in May, known as the wealth amnesty law, to lure back funds which Turkish companies and citizens keep abroad. Declared assets are subject to a 2% tax.

Deputy PM Ali Babacan had estimated the amount of the funds held by Turkish citizens and corporations abroad at USD 130bn of which USD 50bn are believed to be parked in US Treasury bills.

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