Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund was reported to be mulling the sale of a 26.2 per cent stake in operator Turkcell, with informal discussions about a potential deal having already taken place.

Bloomberg reported sources told it the state-owned Turkey Wealth Fund (TWF) had approached an investment bank about advising on the sale, but a formal process had not yet launched as some within the fund are opposed to the move.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who leads the fund’s board, is likely to make a final decision.

TWF bought the stake in 2020 and the news of a potential sale increased Turkcell’s share price by more than 5 per cent, giving the company a $7.3 market capitalisation. The fund also has the right to appoint five of nine board directors, being the company’s largest shareholder.

Investment company LetterOne Investment Holdings, founded by Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman, owns a 19.8 per cent stake in the operator and the rest of its shares are publicly traded.

No companies were named as potential suitors, but Bloomberg sources claim investors from Azerbaijan and the Arabian Peninsula have expressed an interest.

TWF was established by the Turkish government in 2016 with the intention of using it to make investments considered too big for the private sector.

It also holds interests in state lenders, the local stock exchange and Turkey’s main airline.