No interest rate lobby found

No interest rate lobby found

Turkey’s Capital Markets Board’s (SPK) six-month-long investigation over the transactions of the brokerages during the Gezi Park process has discovered no wrong doing. This was talked about it in the capital markets as, “SPK did not find the lobby it was looking for.” The fact that no statement came from the SPK about the investigation has not gone unnoticed.

The SPK started an investigation at the end of last June over the transactions of the brokerage houses between May 20 and June 19. But the investigation failed to find any illegal transaction. It appeared that not only foreign and local investors have not made any illegal transactions, but also no manipulation was discovered for the transactions during that period.

The representatives of the brokerage houses believe it is not right to refrain from issuing a statement about the issue. “While everything in under registration in the electronic domain, the SPK has been continuing its investigation for nearly the past 6 months. No statement has been made about it until now. However, these types of investigations harm the market. The results, whether positive or negative, should be shared with the public as soon as possible,” say representatives of the brokerage houses.

“No official is willing to make a statement. Apparently there is talk in the SPK’s corridors that someone who would say ‘we have found nothing as a result of the investigation’ is being looked after,” said one source.

Foreign Investors

The SPK particularly sent a letter to the brokerage houses that are working with foreign investors and asked about the transactions that took place between May 20 and June 19, inquiring the details of the customers as well. The SPK, at the same, had also requested to letter the information, as well as the bank accounts of those working in the brokerage houses during that period.

Some of the documents requested by the SPK in seven bullet points were regarding how execution orders were taken from non-resident customers, how these orders were relayed to the stock exchange, I.D. information on brokerage house employees, current account movements and security receipts during specified dates, as well as the information on mandate letters of those authorized to perform transactions on these accounts.

The SPK had requested these documents to be submitted by June 27 and sources close to the regulator summarized the process since then, “It was established in the time period under investigation, which was also after the U.S. Central Bank (Fed) disclosed it would end its bond purchases, most of the sales in Turkey were from foreign investors. Of these, most of them were hedge funds. The SPK tried to reach to the real owners of these funds. There have been several correspondences with the SPK’s foreign interlocutors. Nothing illegal was found. The issue has come to the point of getting closed.”

SPK: ‘No comment at this stage’

When asked for an official view about the investigation, the SPK preferred not to make any comment. We asked the following questions to the SPK, “What is the latest situation in the investigation the SPK started regarding the brokerage houses? Has the investigation ended? What are the concrete findings? There are comments that, despite the fact the investigation has been going on for the past 6 months, no concrete statement has been issued about it and this creates a negative impact on the brokerage houses; what is your view on these comments?”

The answer we received from the SPK was, “We have no comment at this current stage.”
The SPK head Vahdettin Ertaş said on Sept. 21 the investigation was continuing and they were waiting for some information from abroad.

The SPK got in touch with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and cooperated on the issue of providing information and documents.

Even though assistance was received from the IOSCO and other countries regarding the SPK’s probe, no one has been found to have done an illegal transaction, according to the representatives of the sector.

The most striking outcome from the SPK investigation was the purchase of the pension funds from Turkey.