New bourse to enhance Istanbul’s financial bid
The logo for ‘Borsa Istanbul’ will be the tullip, traditional mark of Istanbul.
Turkey has put a stake in the ground in its bid to elevate Istanbul’s position to the financial center of the region with the opening of Borsa Istanbul, the new exchange body that has merged stock and gold exchanges under a single umbrella organization.
The new bourse, which was inaugurated on April 5 with a ceremony attended by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, marks a cornerstone in the Turkish government’s plan to consolidate markets along with a fresh boost to regional financial cooperation in order to make Istanbul the finance hub of Turkey and, more ambitiously, of the region.
“Borsa Istanbul will reinforce Istanbul’s bid to be a finance center just like New York, Tokyo and London,” Prime Minister Erdoğan said during the ceremony.
Central bank should be in Istanbul:PM
In order to achieve this goal, the government has taken a number of steps including the new Capital Markets Board (SPK) Code, forming Specialized Finance Courts and an Arbitration Court. Plans to move major financial institutions’ headquarters to Istanbul – as most of them are still in Ankara – are another significant component of the target.
“Ankara is the center of politics, so if we say Istanbul is the center of finance we need to move the most important control mechanisms of finance, public banks to Istanbul, including the Central Bank,” Erdoğan said, clearing up speculation over the future location of the central bank.
But the government is clearing the deck for more, beginning by reinforcing the stock exchange body’s international position.
“Tying up relations with countries in the region, with the Balkans at the top, through both direct partnerships and common projects, would contribute to our project for sure,” the prime minister has said, recalling that the Istanbul bourse has already partnered with Baku, Kyrgyz and Sarajevo stock exchanges.
The Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan did, however, point out some challenges along the way, saying the bourse had been neglected by companies as a source of financing as most of them were still applying to banks when they needed capital.
“Our companies operate carrying debt burdens by receiving loans. Whereas a capital market divides the responsibility between stakeholders."