Turkey raises $2.5 billion in Halkbank share sale

ISTANBUL Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:42am EST

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey has raised 4.51 billion lira ($2.5 billion) from the sale of a 20.8 percent stake in state-controlled Halkbank (HALKB.IS), the managing broker said on Monday, making it the country's largest ever share sale.

Turkey sold the 299 million shares for 15.1 lira apiece, FinansInvest said in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, close to the top of the offer range of 13.80-15.90 lira.

The government was hoping the sale would help lift what have been disappointing privatization receipts in recent years, with tough funding conditions causing the postponement of several previous offers.

The Halkbank sale is the third biggest share sale in Europe so far this year after Italian lender UniCredit's (CRDI.MI) $9.9 billion rights issue in January and Russia's sale of a $5 billion stake in Sberbank (SBER.MM) in September, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Turkey raised $1.85 billion with the sale of a 25 percent stake in Halkbank in an initial public offer in 2007.

Turkey's previous largest share sale was an initial public offering of a 15 percent stake in fixed-line phone company Turk Telekom in 2008, which raised $1.9 billion.

($1=1.8005 Turkish liras)

(Reporting by Seda Sezer; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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