February 5, 2019
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Isbank, the largest listed lender, will become the property of the Treasury, triggering a fall of around 3 percent in the bank’s shares.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) holds a 28.1 percent stake in the bank and Erdogan has said in the past the stake will be transferred to the Treasury.
The stake was bequeathed to the party by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic. The CHP, which appoints four members to Isbank’s board, opposes Erdogan’s bid to transfer the shares to the Treasury.
Erdogan said in a speech to his AK Party’s lawmakers in parliament that Ataturk had bequeathed the stake to the Treasury, not the CHP.
“Isbank will become the property of the Treasury,” Erdogan said. “I believe this parliament will take this historic decision, with God’s permission, and the 23 percent Isbank stake will be transferred to the nation’s treasury,” he said.
Of the bank’s remaining shares, there is a 31.4 percent free float and 40.5 percent is held by the Isbank members supplementary pension fund.
By 1004 GMT, Isbank shares had recovered from their lows to trade 1.22 percent lower at 5.68 lira.
(Reporting by Sarah Dadouch and Ali Kucukgocmen; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Ece Toksabay)