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OPINION

Turkey is the odd one out in CEE’s primary equity revival

Turkey has been the outlier in CEE this year for many reasons.

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Emerging Europe has been enjoying a mini-boom in IPOs.

Poland, Russia and Kazakhstan have produced deals worth $1 billion or more since September. Even tiny Lithuania made headlines with a chunky listing of local utility Ignitis.

One name, however, has been conspicuously absent from this list.

Turkey, the region’s second-largest economy, has not produced an IPO of even the size of Ignitis for two and a half years – and bankers say that is unlikely to change in the near future.

Of course, this is not the only sense in which Turkey has been an outlier in central and eastern Europe (CEE) this year.

Covid crisis

While policymakers in much of the region have won plaudits for their economic stewardship during the Covid crisis, the Turkish government has notoriously exacerbated the situation by burning through foreign-exchange reserves and imposing currency controls in a vain attempt to prop up the lira without raising interest rates.

Opinion seems to be divided as to whether this was at the behest of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a persistent advocate of the theory that high interest rates cause inflation, or his son-in-law Berat Albayrak, whose undistinguished two-year tenure as finance minister came to an abrupt end when he resigned via Instagram on November 8.