* Istanbul seeks role as regional financial hub
* Govt plans to privatise bourse
* Exchange seeking partners, possible stake sale
By Asli Kandemir
ISTANBUL, Jan 16 The Istanbul Stock Exchange
(IMKB) is in talks with several international bourses about
technology sharing and a possible stake sale as Turkey seeks to
carve out a role as a regional financial hub, sources familiar
with the plans said.
Turkey is bringing its stock, gold and derivatives exchanges
under one roof - to be called Bourse Istanbul - as part of a
government plan to privatise the bourse.
Sources familiar with the negotiations said it was talking
to potential partners including CME Group Inc, Deutsche
Boerse and NYSE Euronext.
The exchange has been trying to boost its attractiveness to
investors, introducing new products such as single stock futures
and options last year, and has said it wants strategic partners
to help with its expansion.
"NYSE has been talking to IMKB but the talks are not very
advanced. They're exploring a range of topics including buying a
stake in the exchange, providing technology and possibly
cross-listing stocks," one of the sources said.
A second source said the talks with Deutsche Boerse were for
now focused more on cooperation, rather than a stake sale.
"The most important thing here is that IMKB management has
to decide how much of a stake they are going to sell," a third
"It is not yet clear whether they will sell a small portion
to more than one investor or a bigger stake to a strategic
investor," he said.
Deutsche Boerse, NYSE and CME officials declined to comment.
Turkey was Europe's fastest growing economy in 2011,
expanding 8.5 percent and, although a slump in domestic demand
slowed growth last year, it is still a healthier economy than
many in debt-choked Europe and the turbulent Middle East.
Foreign investors hold around two-thirds by value of shares
on the Istanbul exchange, one of the world's best performing
markets last year with gains of more than 50 percent, compared
to just 15 percent in global emerging markets.