Turkey sell-offs to slow

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey, which has experienced a bumper 2006 in sell-offs ranging from the telecoms to the steel sector, expects revenues from privatizations to more than halve to $5.227 billion next year. The state planning agency (DTP) said in a report published yesterday that revenues in 2006 were expected to total $12.432 billion. Proceeds from tourism, a key earner for the European Union candidate country and instrumental in financing a large current account deficit, were forecast to rise by 8.8 percent next year to $16.6 billion. In 2006, revenues from tourism were expected to be steady at $15.261 billion, DTP said. Turkey failed to meet its tourism target for this year because avian flu in addition to violence in the Middle East and a string of bombings in Turkey’s coastal region scared off many visitors. Turkey has sold off a raft of state companies such as oil refiner Tupras, landline operator Turk Telekom and steelmaker Erdemir.