What matters on Tuesday, March 14

Industrialists have started to prepare to migrate from Istanbul due to the earthquake risk in the city, according to Muammer Omeroglu, Chairman of the Istanbul Industrialists and Businesspeople Associations Federation (ISIFED). Omeroglu told daily EKONOMI that industrialists focus on the cities which are located 300-400 kilometers from Istanbul, to relocate their manufacturing plants to the regions with no earthquake risk. Stressing that the migration has mainly densified in the cities of the Thrace region, the ISIFED Chairman added: “The medium and large-scale business owners want to leave Istanbul. Although the earthquake risk is the main reason, they also want to leave because of the substantial loss in the labor force caused by the hike in the cost of living and high inflation. They look for new places in Anatolia for their manufacturing plants.”

The possible Istanbul earthquake also disturbs the finance sector. The domestic and foreign private banks which have headquarters in Istanbul have started to discuss the emergency scenarios. While the public banks count the days to continue their operations at the Istanbul Finance Center in Atasehir, Istanbul, the headquarters of other banks are in mostly in Levent, Istanbul. Although the buildings are earthquake-resilient, the possible Istanbul earthquake poses a high risk for headquarters. Banks have started to make new plans to distribute high-risk after twin quakes on February 6. Banking sources said a foreign bank has started to look for a place in the capital Ankara to spread the risk.

Turkey’s benchmark stock index ended yesterday at 5,323.19 points, down 1.14% from the previous close. Starting the week at 5,414.87 points, Borsa Istanbul’s BIST 100 index lost 61.37 points compared to the last week’s close of 5,384.56 points. The index’s lowest value during the first transaction day was 5,283.02, while its daily high was 5,429.33. The total market value of BIST 100 was around TRY 4.35tr by market close, with a daily trading volume of TRY 78bn. The concerns over the banking sectors pressure the equity markets following the bankruptcy of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank in the U.S., according to analysts. They said 5,200 points will be the support level and 5,500 points will be the resistance level for the BIST 100 index, in technical terms.

Russia suggested renewing a deal allowing the safe export of grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports but only for half the term of the previous renewal while the United Nations pledged to do everything possible to ensure the agreement’s integrity remained intact, according to Reuters. The Black Sea grain initiative, brokered between Russia and Ukraine by the United Nations and Turkey last July, aimed to prevent a global food crisis by allowing Ukrainian grain blockaded by Russia’s invasion to be safely exported from three Ukrainian ports. The deal, extended for 120 days in November, is up for renewal on Saturday. But Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said after talks with U.N. officials in Geneva that Moscow was ready to extend the deal for only 60 days, citing restrictions on Russian agricultural exporters. Russia, he said, “does not object to another extension of the ‘Black Sea Initiative’ after its second term expiration on March 18, but only for 60 days.”


No important data will be released.


>> Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) continues to slow while Outward Direct Investment (ODI) maintains to have an upward trend in Turkey, according to daily EKONOMI. The ODI/FDI ratio, which hovered around 5-10% in the first decade of the 2000s when the Turkish economy performed healthy growth, hit 62% last year with an upward course.

>> The current account balance posted a USD 9.85bn deficit in January, hitting an all-time high monthly, according to the Central Bank. The 12-month current account deficit reached USD 51.7bn.

>> The value of investments with incentive certificates jumped 150% to TRY 83.1bn in January, year-over-year, according to daily EKONOMI. The number of investment incentive certificates soared 116% to 1,496 in this period.

>> The total turnover index, including the manufacturing, construction, trade, and services sectors rose by 94% in January, compared to the same month last year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). The index increased by 8.3% monthly.

>> The retail sales volume at constant prices increased by 33.9% in January, compared to the same month last year, according to TurkStat. The retail turnover at current prices climbed by 123.7% in the same period.


>> 15% of earthquake victim voters migrated

Elections on May 14 will be organized in a different atmosphere in 11 provinces hit by twin quakes on February 6. There are nearly 9.2 million voters in these cities. However, around 1.4 million were estimated to migrate to other provinces after the earthquake.

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