Halkbank shares plunge sharply after executive’s arrest in US
REUTERS photoShares in Turkey’s Halkbank tumbled as much as 16 percent early yesterday, the sharpest drop on record, after U.S. prosecutors charged one of its senior executives with participating in a multi-year scheme to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Halkbank confirmed Deputy General Manager Mehmet Hakan Atilla had been detained in the United States and said it and the Turkish officials were looking into the matter. Halkbank shares closed the day 14 percent lower.
Istanbul’s banking index was also down over 2 percent and the main index fell around 1 percent. The Turkish Lira also weakened 1 percent against the U.S. dollar, hitting 3.6 early yesterday, before easing later.
Atilla is accused of conspiring with wealthy Iranian-Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab to conduct illegal transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars through U.S. banks on behalf of the Iranian government and other Iranian entities.