Borsa Istanbul converts cash assets into Turkish lira

ANKARA: Turkey's stock exchange decided Friday to convert all of its cash assets into Turkish lira following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call to support the declining Turkish currency against the US dollar.

All of the cash assets will be kept in lira accounts, Borsa Istanbul said in a statement.

The U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate went up to stand at 3.5430 at 5 p.m. (1400GMT) Friday, compared to 3.4860 at Thursday's close.

Earlier on Friday, Erdogan called on Turkish citizens to convert their foreign exchange savings into lira and gold to help boost the value of the local currency.

Erdogan also said that volatility due to the rising value of foreign currency would not have a negative impact on the economy, adding exchange rate fluctuations would have a minor effect on the Turkish economy, which he said was now three times richer than it was 14 years ago.

Turkey's benchmark index was up 1.20 percent at the close of the daily session Friday.

The BIST 100 index rose 871.09 points to close at 73,390.94. The total trading volume of the country's stock exchange market was 3.6 billion Turkish liras (just over $1 billion).

On the last trading day of the week, the banking and holding sector indices rose 1 and 0.93 percent, respectively.

Among sector indices, the leasing factoring index increased the most -- by 3.03 percent -- while the electricity sector was the worst performer with a drop of 1 percent.

The most heavily traded stocks were private lenders Garanti Bank and Akbank, national flag carrier Turkish Airlines, and state lenders Halkbank and Vakifbank.

Shares of Yazicilar Holding, which operates mainly in beverages and retail trade sectors, were the top percent gainer with an increase of 4.37 percent in value, while Metro Holding, which is primarily involved in transportation sector, was the top percent loser as its shares were down 4.12 percent.

The Borsa Istanbul Gold Exchange index gained 0.13 percent in value, with gold trading at 134,140 Turkish liras (some $37,940) per kilogram.

Analysts said investors would follow the figures of inflation in Nov. and industrial production in Oct. set to be revealed next week plus Turkish Central Bank's announcement about the monetary and exchange rate policy for 2017.

Source: Anadolu Agency