ECONOMY

Turkish markets boosted by hopes of Halkbank sale

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish markets rose yesterday as investors welcomed positive signals on the planned privatization of Halkbank after parliament overrode a court suspension of the sale, dealers said. The lira closed at 1.4410 against the dollar on the interbank market, firming 0.9 percent from 1.4540 a day earlier. Bonds also strengthened, with yields on the August 13, 2008 benchmark bond falling to 21.43 percent from 21.66 percent a day earlier. The main share index climbed 2.76 percent to close at 37,640.38, having dropped 1.22 percent on Wednesday. Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan said the goverment wanted to start the tender process for the Halkbank privatization within a short period of time after parliament’s move. «The decision yesterday on Halkbank was positive. After that, buying was boosted in an already positive market by Unakitan’s comments that the Halkbank privatization will be accelerated,» said Gulizar Ozdemir Turk from Kapital Investment Research. Turkey’s parliament passed a law on Wednesday allowing the privatization of Halkbank to move forward. The move came one month after the country’s top administrative court, the Council of State, suspended the sale.