bloomberg/ Ismail Ferdous
Turkey plans to acquire EBRD shares in Borsa Istanbul as the fallout deepens from the appointment of a convicted banker as head of the stock exchange, reported Bloomberg.
Zafer Sonmez, the Chief Executive Officer of the Turkish sovereign wealth fund, said that Türkiye Varlık Fonu (TVF) will raise its share in the country’s benchmark stock exchange to over 90 per cent with the transaction and prepare the company for an initial public offering in two years.
The fund, which controls assets worth tens of billions of dollars, showed interest after the EBRD said it could sell its 10 per cent stake in Borsa Istanbul, citing concerns over the appointment of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who was convicted in the US for busting Iran sanctions, to lead the bourse.
TVF’s Sonmez said increased ownership in Borsa Istanbul complements the sovereign fund’s strategy to turn Istanbul into a regional finance centre.
Hakan Atilla, an ex-Halkbank executive was sentenced in 2018 to 32 months in a US prison following his conviction for helping Iran evade sanctions.
Recently, US prosecutors also charged Halkbank, Turkey’s second-largest state-owned bank, with taking part in a multibillion-dollar scheme to evade sanctions on Iran.