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Signs of progress in Istanbul’s capital markets

Two bold moves by Borsa Istanbul indicate that the exchange is seeking to take advantage of the Turkish economy’s new found confidence. Both focus on its understanding that Turkey needs to facilitate markets and expertise to leverage economic growth. The first is the creation of a partnership with the US stock exchange operator Nasdaq OMX. The second is the launch of a private market for unlisted companies.

The first has great significance for Borsa chairman, Ibrahim Turhan. “This is a ground-breaking development that marks a new era for the Turkish capital markets. The fact that Nasdaq has come in as a partner rather than a supplier is an important indication of confidence in the Turkish capital markets.” Turhan said the Borsa held long discussions and meetings with the New York Stock Exchange, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse, before plumping for Nasdaq. The US exchange receives 5% of the Borsa Istanbul equity with the option of a further 2% of the equity in 2015.

He says Istanbul was not merely looking for a company that generated technology solutions, but for a partner to generate projects and products. Nasdaq’s trading infrastructure will enable the exchange to trade equity, debt products, commodities, energy products and derivatives.

Turhan believes the partnership will enable the exchange to bring its technology up to speed. It has widely been criticised for being slow and out of date.

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