Turkey’s state-owned enterprises lost $1.65 billion in 2020: report

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Turkey’s state-owned enterprises suffered a loss of TL 16 billion ($1.65 billion) in total in 2020, local media reported on Saturday, citing a recent report by the Treasury and Finance Ministry.

According to the report 12 companies lost a total of TL 16 billion ($1.65 billion) in 2020, with Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) taking the lead with a loss of TL 6.1 billion ($629 million).

THY was followed by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD), which lost TL 3.9 billion ($402 million) in 2020, and the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMI), which suffered a loss of TL 2.1 billion ($216 million).

Turkish Hard Coal Enterprises (TTK), the Turkish Sugar Refineries Corporation (Türkşeker), the Post and Telegraph Directorate of Turkey (PTT), the General Directorate of Tea Enterprises (ÇAYKUR) and the Turkish Electricity Distribution Corporation (TEDAŞ) lost TL 1.3 billion ($134 million), TL 969.8 million ($100 million), TL 741 million ($76.4 million), TL 547 million ($56.4 million) and TL 357.5 million ($36.8 million), respectively.

The remaining enterprises, including the Rail Systems Engineering, Consultancy Joint Stock Company (RAYSİMAŞ), Sümer Holding, the Meat and Milk Board (ESK) and the Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) each lost an amount between 24 and 223 million lira ($2.4 and $23 million) in 2020.

The report also showed that while a total of 207,000 people were employed by the state-owned enterprises in 2000, the number had decreased to 100,506 in 2019 and to 93,738 at the end of 2020.

However, the total employment costs of the state-owned enterprises increased by 17.5 percent compared to 2019 and stood at TL 15 billion ($1.5 billion) last year.

The Turkey Wealth Fund, which was set up by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government in 2016 as the national sovereign wealth fund to develop the value of the country’s strategic assets and provide investment resources, has been chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since September 2018.

The government’s transfer of Treasury assets in a number of top companies, including ÇAYKUR, PTT, BOTAŞ, TCDD and THY, to the Wealth Fund has attracted widespread criticism, with many suggesting that these companies will no longer be financially overseen and that their operations will lack transparency. Opposition figures have also warned that the move is likely to result in an economic crisis.

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