Bank Asya shares stay suspended until uncertainty resolved: Turkish bourse
ISTANBUL – Reuters
A man walks past an ATM machine of Bank Asya in Istanbul Aug. 12. REUTERS PhotoShares in Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya will remain suspended until uncertainty regarding its ownership is resolved, the Istanbul stock exchange has said.
“Contradictory reports over the bank’s partnership structure, these reports’ causing serious and persistent volatile activity in share prices and the bank’s not announcing the partnership and processes of clearly and transparently changing management can damage healthy price formation due to potential elusiveness in investors’ perception,” Borsa Istanbul said in a statement released on the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP) on Aug. 14.
The stock exchange management explained the move as a measure against “actions that could thwart the market’s operating in trust, transparency and stability.”
Borsa Istanbul had suspended trading Bank Asya shares before the beginning of the afternoon session on Aug. 7.
Last week, top government officials appeared to be at odds over conflicting reports of the state purchasing the bank as Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said state-run Ziraat Bank, which is looking to launch its own Islamic banking unit, could buy Bank Asya, but an advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan subsequently denied such a plan.
The bank has seen its profits and capital base collapse since December 2013 when it found itself at the center of a power struggle between Erdoğan and his political foe Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic cleric whose sympathizers founded the bank.
The lender received another blow on Aug. 13, as the Customs and Trade Ministry joined with two other state institutions in canceling their contract with the bank.
Last week, the Revenue Administration and Social Security Institution had separately announced they were annulling their contracts with the lender.