Turkey Approves 18 Bidders for Chemicals Maker Petkim

Turkey said 18 groups qualified to bid for a majority stake in chemicals maker Petkim Petrokimya Holding AS (PETKM), a sale worth about $700 million to the government as it tries to meet the demands of the International Monetary Fund.

Tupras Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri AS (TUPRS), Turkey's biggest refiner, and OAO Tatneft (TATN), the oil producer in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan, are among potential buyers, Turkey's state asset sales agency in Ankara said in a faxed statement today.

Turkey is offering a 51 percent stake in Petkim under a $10 billion IMF accord that aims to cut debt and reduce the government's role in the $400 billion economy. Final bids for the company, based in Izmir on the Aegean coast, are due June 15.

The stake in Petkim is worth 924 million liras ($696 million), according to the company's share price. Petkim shares fell 0.6 percent to 8.85 liras in Istanbul, taking gains to 38 percent since the government invited bids on March 16.

Azerbaijan's state oil company Socar also qualified in partnership with Turcas Enerji AS, the asset sales agency said.

Other bidders include a partnership between Basell Holdings BV, the world's biggest producer of propylene, and Turkey's Demiroren. Sanko Petrokimya Sanayi ve Ticaret AS, Calik Enerji, a unit of Turkey's Calik Holding, and Zorlu Holding of Turkey, also qualified, the statement said.

Shares in Tupras, the Turkish refiner, rose 2.2 percent to 34.25 liras. Shares in Sanko Pazarlama Ithalat Ihracat, the Sanko Holding's textiles unit, gained 1.2 percent to 3.52 liras.

To contact the reporter on this story: Steve Bryant in Ankara at Sbryant5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Kirkham in London at ckirkham@bloomberg.net

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