TeliaSonera pessimistic about raising stake in Turkcell in the near term

CANNES (Reuters) – Prospects for the Nordic region’s biggest telecoms operator TeliaSonera to raise its stake in Turkcell are not encouraging in the near term, Chief Executive Anders Igel said yesterday. TeliaSonera now has 37.3 percent of the fast-growing Turkcell and has made it clear for more than a year that it is keen to increase its holding to a majority stake to consolidate the subsidiary’s fast growth and boost its own stagnant sales. But the firm’s hopes of buying a 13.15 percent stake in Turkcell from a Turkish bank were shattered earlier this month when the privately owned Cukurova group, Turkcell’s biggest shareholder, with a 43 percent holding, secured a 12-month extension on its buy option on the shares. «The development we have had lately has not been encouraging from our point of view,» Igel told Reuters in an interview. «We will see what happens… I am not particularly positive about the development in the near term,» he said.