What matters on Thursday, March 31

European countries that the U.S. is striving to provide energy alternatives to in lieu of Russian gas are trying to understand whether Russia will cut energy exports to them, especially since the country has demanded natural gas payments in RUB. Germany, which clearly stated that it won’t pay in RUB, is preparing for acute energy cuts. German Economy Minister and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck triggered an early warning level for gas supplies. However, energy experts in Turkey aren’t predicting a gas cut in Turkey.

On the economic side, the global markets focused on the fifth round of the Russia-Ukraine peace talks held in Istanbul on Tuesday. Positive messages following the meeting created a generally positive atmosphere led by equities in the aerospace industry and commodity prices on a slightly downward trend, according to Murat Barisik, Research Director of Ata Yatirim. “The positive atmosphere continued both in the global markets and on the Borsa Istanbul stock exchange. We estimate that acquisitions will continue for the BIST 100 Index, which has exceeded a resistance level of 2,200 that we’ve tested but not yet exceeded,” Barisik said. He also added that positive momentum may continue towards 2,280-2,300 points as long as the index remains above 2,200 points. “However, statements made by Russia and Ukraine may increase volatility in the markets,” Barisik noted. Ata Yatirim suggests adding companies with a solid foundation and story to investment portfolios. He named TAV Airport, Birlesik Magazalar AS (BIM), Arcelik, Migros, Turk Telekom, and Sisecam as examples.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar warned European leaders not to escalate the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, according to Bloomberg. He also said the country is open to discussions with France and Italy about alternate missile defense systems, but that the controversial Russian S-400 system it purchased was a ‘necessity’ for its safety.


Turkey’s exports rose by 25.4% to USD 20bn and imports jumped 44.5% to USD 27.8bn in February, year over year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). Foreign trade deficit soared 135.5% to USD 7.8bn in the same period.

The Ministry of Treasury and Finance will release external debt statistics for the fourth quarter of 2021 (12.00 pm).

The Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) and the Central Bank will release weekly money and banking statistics (2.30 pm).


>> Investment funds doubled to TRY 305bn in 2021, compared to the previous year, according to the Turkish Institutional Investment Managers’ Association (TKYD). 293 new investment funds joined the system in this period.

>> Cash loans provided by institutions that are members of the Risk Center of the Banks Association of Turkey (TBB) rose by 41% to TRY 5.2tr in January, compared to the same month last year. Commercial loans surged by 47% to TRY 4.17bn in this period.

>> Total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rose by 3.1% to the equivalent of 523.9 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2020 compared to the previous year, according to TurkStat. The energy sector’s GHG emissions rose by 0.6% to 367.6 million tons of CO2 equivalent in the same period.

>> Some 14,993 new coronavirus cases and 53 deaths due to COVID-19 were reported in the last 24 hours by the Health Ministry.


>> Ukrainian aftershocks

Our Foreign Policy Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli analyses the change in the international balance in light of the Russia-Ukraine war.

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