Borsa Istanbul to reopen after one week

Borsa Istanbul will restart trading today amid measures to avoid a steep decline in stock prices.

The trading was halted on Feb. 8 in the wake of two deadly earthquakes on Feb. 6,which claimed the lives of more than 30,000 people.

With a decree published in the Official Gazette, a regulation change was made to increase the stock market demand in the Individual Retirement System (BES).

Accordingly, the rate of state contribution to the system that can be used in the stock markets has been increased from 10 percent to 30 percent.

Also, the maximum amount that can be invested in one stock by a retirement fund was increased from 1 percent to 5 percent.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati held a meeting late on Feb. 13 with the officials of the Central Bank, the Capital Markets Board (SPK) and Borsa Istanbul.

At the meeting, it was decided to provide tax exemption in order to increase the share repurchases of companies when the transactions in the stock markets resumed in Borsa Istanbul. Accordingly, listed companies will be able to buy back their shares without paying the withholding tax, which is currently 15 percent.

Analysts said more measures could be needed to stabilize the stock exchange.

“The Turkiye Wealth Fund [TVF] can be activated by purchasing shares directly or by purchasing shares with dividend income in the companies in its portfolio,” Tuncay Turşucu told daily Nasıl Bir Ekonomi.

He also urged a ban on short selling, adding that the transactions made on Feb. 6 and 7 could still be canceled.

Gökhan Uskuay of Allbatross Portföy said fundamental measures should be taken to increase liquidity and credits.

“The decline in the stock market cannot be prevented by changing the rules or by restrictions,” he said. “The effects of temporary measures and short-term solutions are also short-lived.”


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