Turk­ish De­light?

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - ONLINE EXTRA -

The pres­i­dent puts his po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents on trial. A civil war next door in Syria desta­bi­lizes the re­gion, cre­at­ing refugees and birthing the ISIS ter­ror­ist move­ment. And the coun­try is feud­ing with long-time ally Amer­ica.

But stock in­vestors look at Turkey and think: “What’s not to like?’’ The coun­try’s BIST 100 in­dex is up 37 per­cent this year, one of the world’s best per­for­mances.

An­a­lysts who study Turkey can’t fathom the en­thu­si­asm.

True, the gov­ern­ment has juiced the econ­omy with easy credit. And an April ref­er­en­dum, which in­creased

Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan’s power, has pro­vided sta­bil­ity af­ter a July 2016 coup at­tempt pro­voked a gov­ern­ment crack­down and raised ten­sions with Wash­ing­ton.

“Mar­kets are more in­ter­ested in sta­bil­ity than (the) shift to­ward au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism,’’ says Onur Bul­bul, pres­i­dent of the In­noNa­tive Ad­vi­sors con­sul­tancy.

Some in­vestors aren’t sold. The Turk­ish cur­rency, the lira, is still down 18 per­cent against the U.S. dol­lar since the July 15, 2016 coup. And for­eign­ers are balk­ing at long-term bets: For­eign di­rect in­vest­ment in Turkey, which in­cludes ac­qui­si­tions and new fac­to­ries, dropped 30 per­cent last year.

Source: Fac­tSet Paul Wise­man; Alex Nieves • AP

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