Bourse İstanbul inaugurated in gong ceremony

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan banged the gong on Friday to open Borsa İstanbul (Bourse İstanbul), a combined entity comprising the İstanbul Stock Exchange (İMKB) and local gold and derivatives exchanges.

Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan announced on Wednesday that the 28-year-old İMKB has come together with the İstanbul Gold Exchange and the Derivatives Exchange (İAB) under a single roof called Borsa İstanbul, or BIST.

The bourse was inaugurated in a ceremony on Friday attended by Erdoğan, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bağış, Capital Markets Board (SPK) Chairman Vahdettin Ertaş and İbrahim Turhan, the recently announced head of the body.

Speaking at the ceremony, Erdoğan described the opening of the bourse as a historic move which he said will contribute to the project to make İstanbul an international financial center.

“The rate of Turkey’s economic growth in 2012 has surpassed that of the United States and the European Union countries… We are planning to pay off our remaining debt to the International Monetary Fund, $400 million, by the end of next month,” Erdoğan said.

He also commented on his government’s initiative to solve the conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which he said has cost Turkey $300 billion since the terrorist group took up arms in 1984 with the aim of carving out a Kurdish homeland in Turkey’s Southeast.

Turkish state authorities have been holding settlement talks with the jailed leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, since last October with the aim of completing a timetable for the disarmament of PKK terrorists. Öcalan has significant influence among PKK members and supporters, and the state believes that talks with the terrorist leader will achieve their goals of a withdrawal of the terrorists from Turkey and, in the long run, disarmament.

The decades-old terror problem has not only claimed the lives of 40,000 people, but has also taken its toll on the Turkish economy, slowing down its pace of development and preventing its potential from being fully realized.

“A new era when Turkey will see huge economic development will begin once the solution process is concluded successfully,” Erdoğan said, adding that he hopes Turkey will be able to use its energy for the development of the country and the improvement of democracy rather that for the fight against terrorism.

The launch of a single bourse, or stock exchange, in the financial capital of İstanbul is part of a new Turkish law regulating capital markets. The law was published in the Official Gazette on Dec. 30, 2012. The decision to bring the separate trading entities under a single management arrives as part of plans to make İstanbul a regional financial center. The bourse plans to introduce index options in the second quarter of 2013 and foreign exchange options will start trading before the end of the year.

Source: Today’s Zaman

Photo: Anadolu Ajans, Metin Pala