Despite being a world giant, Vodafone is as if in a state of hibernation in Turkey. It seems to be so heavily indulged in problems abroad, Management Board problems, loss result statements etc. It is not able to take a break from the global and deal with the local. Those who are close to the company say “Vodafone Turkey will not come to itself before 2008”. There is the impression that Telsim is not able to show the same performance and increase in subscribers this year it showed prior to the sale last year but is not showing any effort either.
Because Vodafone is still not able to sort out the network problem, has not even been able to award the bid. It is staggering in order to buy it 10% maybe 15 or 25 cheaper and is losing time. But the main problem appears to be “an increase in British-Turkish discrimination” within the company. The Market is describing this situation as “a 2nd Aria syndrome”. Vodafone is trying to run Telsim from New Burry (in other words Vodaburry), it is placing British people in the higher positions, but how do they say: “This is Turkey”. Wouldn’t it have been better if at least the Aria sample was examined? Setting up such a strategy (or not setting it up but trying to do it the easy way) when an example showing what camping brings about was right at the tip of their nose, may support the feeling of “I am managing” at the top but will it be like that time will show.
Avea on the other hand had taken over “a wreck”. It seems that it is still working on it. As a result of the unlimited Aycell subscriptions given extravagantly to civil servants by the bureaucrats at Aycell management at one time who thought that “sale meant to distribute” and our Berlusconi supported Italian friends defecating their oldies to the country saying “I’m investing” and not being able to continue with, Avea is stuck with a terrible network and it is said that “Trktan is straightening it out”.
I do not know him personally but many of the people in the market have this notion. Thinking that this belief comes partly from the fact that he was the first General Manager of Turkcell Company which was brought to life from scratch, also partly because the company found itself a place in the world markets afterwards, along with the fact that in recent times the idea of “less talk, more work” is practiced; I think Avea is onto a good path. At least this is the impression I get from the market. Avea finally seems to have got onto a good path and has started to move speedily. We can also see this from it heading away from giving sonorous advertisements and sponsorship to pompous names paying large sums of money and heading towards advertising and sponsorship campaigns that have a story and a meaning.
Coming to Turkcell, we have mentioned at the beginning of the article, there isn’t “impassiveness” in the market anymore. It still is the king but there is no guarantee that the development in the near future will not change this equilibrium. If the rumors we hear are correct, Vodafone people are saying that Turkcell “has high number of customers but it is hollow inside. Their billed subscribers’ amount is and their allegiance programs are also weak. The situation can easily change”.
As a matter of fact it is noted from the movement of the shares seen on the page www.turkcell.com.tr that there is a decrease in Turkcell shares. Moreover the fact that the sale of 5,88% of the shares materializing 15% below their expectations (for a total of 129,393,197 YTL nominal valued share an amount of 590million $ was obtained) leads us to the same conclusion.
Let’s explain what has changed in shareholders table compared to the old one; The 27,26% share of ukurova Holding prior to the sale of the 5,88% share has dropped to 21,38%. On the contrary the shares open to the public have increased by 5,88%. No other change is seen other than that.
During the first moments that I wrote this article the Turkcell General Manager was not announced yet. I was drawing attention to a point in this article;
Another important handicap of Turkcell was the fact that it was being managed without a General Manager for 5 months.
Although due to the fact that it is one the most institutional firms of our country, Turkcell supporters are stating this with a humorous remark “Even without Assistant General Managers this company runs” but the search for a General Manager by KPartners not being able to satisfy the partners, must have left the stock market investors that when the 5,88% sale is examined the share prices have dropped by 15%.
Even though it is not the only reason on its own, even when it is contemplated that the investors have considered the new equilibriums in the market, not having been able to promote a new General Manager clearly shows that there is a conflict in company management. Apparently the 3 partners who have been to court during the election of Management Board were also in a conflict in this matter.
Since the CEO appointment is now made, there is nothing else to say in this matter but “let’s look to the future”. We wish success to Sreyya Ciliv and looking at his successful career we assume that it is easy for our wish to come true.
Lastly let’s take a look at the improvements in the market. In summary, we can say that “2006 is a lost year for the Turkish GSM sector”. The Ministry of Transportation and the Telecommunications Association could not keep their promises this year. 3G, number transferring, MVNO or convergence type improvements did not stop by Turkey this year. We only listened to sweet-talk.
Whereas there is so much matter involved. For example we do not hear any discussion about 3G. Such as “for how much” or “which models” will be given. Such that, lastly if Vodafone gave 4,5 billion to Telsim, logically 3G must be more expensive. But is there a brave one to pay this? In the past the Aria tender was offered to Italian- Bank partnership for 2,5 billion $ but the aftermath was a complete disappointment. For this reason we found out as the sector that something rational must be done. There is also another question “won’t the present operators have an advantage in 3G?” My opinion for example is to give a shared income license to the present operators — until the presumed amount is paid– and to sell 1 new license for an amount above 4,5 billion $. If there is someone who wants to take this, wishes to enter this market, then they can assess it.
Yet none of these is being discussed at all. Because the arranging association, in other words the Telecommunications Association is throwing the ball outside the field/game via the spokesmanship of the Ministry of Transportation saying “that does not want it, this does not want it”. After all, the sector is the largest sponsor of the football industry. That is probably why.