At the Macroeconomic Developments and 2016 January-March Central Administration Budget Realizations meeting, Finance Minister Naci Ağbal said the National Lottery privatization would be tendered in early May. Ağbal said they had made some changes in National Lottery regulations; therefore, they were expecting more investors to join the bidding. Ağbal added that they decided to improve the National Lottery contract to increase the number of participants during the privatization process. The bidding commission was formed this week, and the auction will take place in early May.
According to Ağbal, at least TL 10 billion ($3.502 billion) in privatization income will be managed this year. During the first quarter, a seasonal increase was observed in social security transfers, and regarding this year's expenses, a rise outside the estimated budget is out of the question. Ağbal said despite the lack of new privatization contracts during the first quarter, there were some privatization agreements approved by the High Board of Privatization (ÖYK); these are installments from 2015 and previous years.
Although Ağbal announced in January that the National Lottery would be privatized, some steps had already been taken previously. With the High Board of Privatization (ÖYK) decision on Sept. 12, 2003, a mechanism for privatizing the lottery was launched, and the first bid was made on May 7, 2009. The bidders did not raise the funds offered at auction, so the bidding was cancelled. The second auction was held on July 15, 2014, and the highest offer, which was $2.755 billion, plus value-added tax, was made by Net Sans-Hitay OGG. Payment was due on April 15, 2015, but Net Sans-Hitay OGG could not raise the necessary funds.