April 20, 2015

Bank Asya Extends Rally on Optimism Government May Cede Control

Bank Asya climbed to the highest in seven months, extending last week’s record rally, amid optimism the lender may be released from government management.

Shares in the company advanced 3.8 percent to 1.09 liras at 3:39 p.m. in Istanbul, the highest level since September. Bank Asya has gained more than 60 percent since April 9, when it said 152 shareholders, representing about 90 percent of Class A shares, delivered documents to the banking regulator proving they’re qualified to be founding partners.

The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund, or TMSF, Turkey’s agency responsible for resolving failed banks, took over management control of 63 percent of Bank Asya’s privileged shares in February, citing violations of regulations on transparency in its organizational and partnership structure. The move was an escalation in a feud between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers founded the bank.

“Optimism that TMSF will exit the bank once it has information about all the shareholders and the shares being traded at junk levels may have caused the surge,” Haydar Acun, the Istanbul-based manager of Sardis Turkish Equity Fund, said by e-mail.“It’s hard to predict what TMSF will do.”

Bank Asya has been trading in a markets watchlist since September. Companies on the list trade under conditions of heightened surveillance, and trading is limited to the afternoon only.

Published on Bloomberg Business, 20 April 2015, Monday