Turkey to sell shares in two oil firms in the first half of 2002

ANKARA – Turkey plans to sell shares in two downstream petroleum firms in the first half of 2002, reviving crucial asset sales delayed by last year’s financial crisis, a privatization official said yesterday. Turkey had shelved the planned public offerings in shares of petroleum-products marketer Petrol Ofisi and refiner Tupras late last year, preferring to wait for better market conditions. Haluk Buyukbas, deputy chairman of the Privatization Administration, told a conference in Ankara the Petrol Ofisi offer would be in the first quarter of 2002 and Tupras in the second quarter. He said the administration aimed to raise a net $1.5 billion in privatization revenues in 2002. Privatization revenue is a crucial part of Turkey’s budgetary plans under a billion-dollar lending package from the International Monetary Fund. Officials said last year before the sales were delayed that they expected $550 million from Tupras and $650 million from Petrol Ofisi, which is majority-owned by a consortium of Is Bankasi and media group Dogan. – In W. Africa, Koch for 130,000 tons of cargo loading Feb. 25, discharging US Gulf, has fixed M/T «Sea Star» at W/S 60.