Turkey auctions three power grids

Turkey raised more than $1.15 billion by selling three power grids as it seeks to raise revenue and hand responsibility for developing the electricity network to non-government companies. Eti Gümüş, a Turkish silver mining company bid $485 million at an auction in Ankara for the Osmangazi network in the west. Çalık Holding, which has interests in energy and media, bid $441.5 million for the northern Yeşilırmak grid. The northern Çoruh grid was sold to Aksa Elektrik for $227 million. Turkey is selling its 20 electricity distribution networks under a plan to boost investment in an industry where demand is rising about 8 percent a year. Payments for the three grids sold November 6 are likely to come in 2010, when the government aims to raise $7 billion from asset sales.

The auction bids were higher than expected. The asset sales agency said November 6 that it plans to begin the sale of four more grids next week, without naming them. The government may prefer to delay selling the biggest grids, such as the one in Istanbul, until the economy is stronger.

Source: Hurriyet Daily

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