Turkey’s stock exchange, Borsa Istanbul (BIST), had a bumper year in 2014. It was the fifth-best-performing exchange globally, with the BIST 100 index rising by 26% and closing at a record year-end high. While the early months of 2015 were more muted, the appeal of the exchange and many of its listed stocks to investors is still strong. Turkey’s equity and bond markets felt the impact of cooling investor sentiment and the related fall in the lira in the first few months of 2015. A degree of uncertainty over the fiscal and monetary policy outlook ahead of the election had an effect as well. However, the reforms of the past few years have left the country’s capital markets larger, more liquid, more accessible to foreign capital and all together better-off. Tough as some periods may be, the market’s future is founded on that of its economy, and in this regard Turkey’s large, young populace and diverse economic base are major assets.
This chapter contains interviews with Vahdettin Ertaş, Chairman, Capital Markets Board, and İbrahim Turhan, Former Chairman and CEO, Borsa Istanbul.