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    Turkish arms producer Aselsan reports record $10 billion order book

    Turkish defense firm Aselsan reported a record $10.2 billion order book, Sabah newspaper said, in another milestone for the country’s arms industry.

    Aselsan, which specializes in defence electronics, has signed an additional $1.8 billion in supply agreements during the first half of the year, adding to an order book that had reached $9.1 billion at the end of 2018, Sabah said.

    New sale accords include an 840 million euro-order for work on Turkey’s national tank project Altay and a $240 million deal with Pakistan to supply attack helicopters.

    Turkey’s government is seeking to grow the nation’s arms industry with the help of tax incentives and orders for new weapons. It says the industry is a valuable source of export revenue and helps raise Turkey’s regional and global profile.

    A recent sale to Gambia means Aselsan has exported its products to 64 countries, Sabah said.

    Aselsan is 74 percent-owned by the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation, with the remaining stake floated on the Istanbul Stock Exchange.

    Sales reached 9 million liras ($1.6 billion) in the first half of this year, an increase of 41 percent on the same period of 2018, the newspaper reported. The company aims to end the year with an increase in sales of between 40 percent and 50 percent in lira terms, it said.

    Aselsan’s shares rose 4.6 percent to 18.46 liras at 2:41 p.m. in Istanbul on Wednesday, paring losses over the last 12 months to 26 percent. The stock reached a record high of 39.76 liras in November 2017.

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