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Turkey: Not the year of the IPO

Turkey’s IPO market has disappointed this year. The wrong deals were sold at the wrong prices, leaving a bad taste in investors’ mouths. Can the lessons be learnt to ensure next years’ big pipeline gets completed? Nick Lord reports.

IT WAS NOT meant to be like this. With much fanfare, 2010 was declared ‘The year of the IPO’ by the Turkish authorities. The main protagonists – the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) and the main securities regulator, the Capital Market Board (CMB) – set themselves an ambitious target at the beginning of the year, aiming to get 50 listings completed by the end of 2010. However so far, with two months to go, only 15 IPOs have been completed (although another 10 have filed to list).

The IPO campaign was given a mid-year boost with a glittering three-day event held on the shores of the Golden Horn. But looking at what has happened since then, investors could be forgiven for thinking there is nothing golden about Turkey’s IPO market.

On May 6 and 7 more than 2,000 bankers, corporate brokers and lawyers gathered at the IPO Turkey Campaign – Istanbul Summit, organized by the ISE and CMB. The conference was meant to find out why so few Turkish companies sought an IPO and the intention was to tell companies looking at an IPO about the benefits of such a transaction. It also wanted to iron out some of the problems these companies claimed they faced when considering a listing.

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