(Adds quotes, details)
ANKARA, April 17 (Reuters) - The Turkish government will
press ahead with its first issue of Islamic bonds this year and
the planned sale should encourage private companies to do
likewise and boost Istanbul's role as a financial centre, Deputy
Prime Minister Ali Babacan said on Tuesday.
The government had said previously it could issue a sukuk in
2012, overcoming sensitivities about Islamic finance in the
secular republic as it seeks to tap a rich pool of investors
flush with oil money.
Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek told the press conference
with Babacan on Tuesday that the government would also ease
taxes on sukuk issues to encourage investment.
"Turkey should participate in the sukuk issue market, and
the Treasury's sukuk issues will pave the way for those of the
private sector," Babacan said.
"Strengthening the sukuk market is also important in making
Istanbul a global finance center, and the sukuk certificates
will be traded on the Istanbul Stock Exchange," he added.
Plans for a sovereign sukuk issue from an economy regarded
as one of the most progressive and successful in the Muslim
world signals intent on Turkey's part to play a bigger role in
The size of the global sukuk market is estimated at more
than $100 billion.
Simsek told the news conference his ministry was working on
easing taxes on the Treasury's sukuk issue to make the bond more
attractive for possible investors, as he said it already does
with eurobond issues.
The two ministers did not elaborate on the size of the
planned sukuk issue, but both reiterated that it will be held
"Market conditions will determine the amount of the issue,
and the sukuk may be lira-, dollar- or euro-denominated and will
attract investors from both Turkey and abroad," Babacan said.
(Reporting by Ozge Ozbilgin, Writing by Ece Toksabay editing by