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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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Istanbul Stock Exchange's CEO and chairman unveils plans to expand Shariah-compliant securities

by Nathan Collins

Ibrahim Turhan, newly appointed CEO of Istanbul Borsasi, talks exclusively to Euromoney about his plans to expand Shariah-compliant products

Ibrahim Turhan, the CEO and chairman of Istanbul’s stock exchange, exclusively met with Euromoney in Turkey and revealed ambitious plans to reform the Turkish capital markets.

However, his first action as chairman was more symbolic than practical: renaming the stock exchange.

The Istanbul Stock Exchange is now known as Istanbul Borsasi. This might seem a small change but it is significant to Turhan.

“Other stock exchanges have names in their country’s language, not in English,” says Turhan. "In Italy, you have the Borsa Italiana, and in Germany the Deutsche Börse. Now in Turkey, you have the Istanbul Borsasi."

One area Turhan is looking to expand is the products on offer in Turkey, suggesting that sukuk, ABS and MBS all need to be looked at as potential offerings in the country.

Turhan has a particular interest in Shariah-compliant securities. During his tenure at the central bank, he was involved in the creation of International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM), established on October 25, 2010.  

IILM is an international organisation dedicated to the issuance of short-term Shariah-compliant financial instruments with the aim of boosting cross-border Islamic finance. Its stated aim is to enhance cross-border investment flows, international linkages and financial stability.