ISTANBUL, July 31 Shares in mobile phone company
Turkcell climbed 3 percent on Thursday, boosted by
news that Turkish shareholder Cukurova had agreed financing
terms enabling it to recover a controlling stake in the company.
The lira weakened sharply in response to recent
dollar strength as trading resumed after a three-day holiday
marking the end of Ramadan. Bond yields rose while the main
share index fell 1 percent.
On Friday, a British court announced that financing terms
had been agreed between Cukurova and its Russian partner Altimo
which would enable it to recover the disputed Turkcell stake.
Sources familiar with the deal said Cukurova would secure
the funding from Turkish state-owned lender Ziraat Bank and
would make the $1.6 billion payment this week.
Cukurova has been battling Altimo, the telecoms investment
arm of Russia's Alfa Group, for seven years for control of
Turkey's biggest mobile phone operator, choking decision-making
at the firm and preventing the payment of dividends.
"We deem this development positive for Turkcell as reaching
a solution on this deadlock should pave the way for the
long-awaited divided payments," Tera Brokers said in a daily
By 0849 GMT, Turkcell shares trimmed some of their gains,
trading up 2.2 percent at 13.95 lira, off a high of 14.15.
The main Istanbul share index was down 1.15 percent
at 83,246 points, underperforming the wider emerging markets
index, which fell 0.68 percent.
Islamic lender Bank Asya fell 3.9 percent after
pro-government broadcaster AHaber and newspaper Sabah quoted
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan as saying the bank was not in a
good position and was seeking to sell assets to boost liquidity.
"After Erdogan's comments, doubts are arising as to whether
the bank will be able to find a strategic partner," one
Istanbul-based equities trader said.
Bank Asya was not immediately available for comment.
At the start of July, sources close to the matter told
Reuters that Bank Asya and Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB)
had ended exclusive talks over QIB acquiring a stake. Bank Asya
subsequently said such reports did not reflect the truth.
The lira stood at 2.1383 against the U.S. currency by 0847
GMT, weakening from 2.0941 late on Friday.
The benchmark 10-year government bond yield
rose to 8.98 percent in very thin trade, up from 8.73 percent
(Additional reporting by Can Sezer; Writing by Daren Butler;
Editing by Janet Lawrence)