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Turkish energy bourse may join NASDAQ-type exchange

30 Apr 2012 16:13:03 | edem

Turkey has signalled its ambition to create a liquid energy bourse under the umbrella of a large NASDAQ-type stock exchange, sources close to government discussions have told ICIS.

The exchange would be at the heart of an Istanbul-based international financial hub that would rival London.

Earlier in January, ICIS revealed the government is currently drawing up amendments to the energy law to include plans for the creation of EPIAŞ, a cross-commodity energy platform for physical and financial products (see EDEM 23 January 2012).

However, Turkey wants to take the concept a step further. Last week, deputy prime minister Ali Babacan signalled at a G20 meeting that Turkey is now intent on merging all existing trading platforms - including the Istanbul Stock Exchange, the Izmir-based derivatives market TurkDEX and possibly the future EPIAŞ - into a large holding company that would have extensive financial powers.

"The exchange is a very hot topic in Ankara at the moment," a source close to discussions said.

He added that the government is also discussing the shareholder structure of EPIAŞ, which might be split between private and public stakeholders. The state could have a 51% share.

"It is important that EPIAŞ include the physical element of the market that is currently operated by [the exchange] PMUM," he added. "There is also a very strong need for market makers to whip up liquidity."

He said the private sector would be instrumental in helping to launch such an exchange that would also create a market reference price. Large Turkey-based energy companies, including Enerjisa, may express an interest in becoming a market maker.

A source at regulator EMRA confirmed the Turkish government is in fact considering the creation of EPIAŞ as well as a large holding company. AS

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