Turkcell Climbs to 5-Year High on Dividend Bets: Istanbul Mover

Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS climbed to the highest level in almost five years amid speculation that Turkey’s biggest mobile-phone company may pay the first dividend since 2010 this year.

The shares rose 1.3 percent to 11.90 liras, the highest since April 2008, at the close today in Istanbul. The gains came one day after Bank of America Merrill Lynch said dividend recovery could “drive Turkcell’s investment case” this year. Shares traded were more than three times the three-month daily average volume, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A battle over Turkcell’s management between owners Istanbul-based Cukurova Holding, Moscow-based Altimo and Sweden’s TeliaSonera AB has obstructed dividend payments since

2010. The company may pay dividends for the period “sooner rather than later,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts including Ali Yavuz Birdal and Michael Harris said in a report yesterday, estimating a dividend yield of 12.8 percent for 2012 and 5.8 percent for 2013.

“With investors shifting toward relatively cheaper stocks, Turkcell’s dividend story might be coming to the fore,” Haydar Acun, the chief executive officer of Istanbul-based Sardis Securities, said by phone today. “A dividend yield of more than 10 percent is serious stuff in a place where annual inflation is about 6 percent.”

Turkcell is trading at 13.5 times earnings, compared with

30.8 times for Cairo-based Orascom Telecom Holding, and 14.7 times for Poland’s Telekomunikacja Polska, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Istanbul Stock Exchange’s National 100 Index is trading at an average price-to-earnings ratio of

12.2, the data show.

Sixteen analysts recommend buying Turkcell shares, 11 say hold and one says sell, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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