Thin trading as Istanbul single-stock futures market debuts

ISTANBUL Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:16am EST

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ISTANBUL Dec 21 (Reuters) - Turkey's single-stock futures and options market started with thin trading at its debut on Friday because infrastructure in most brokerages were not ready for the launch and because of holiday-thinned interest abroad.

Ten of the Istanbul Stock Exchange's biggest companies started trading, with most trade in Garanti Bank's December future, down 2.38 percent at 9.02 lira, and Akbank's January option and Garanti December option also had some trade.

Futures and options in lenders Garanti Bank, Akbank, Isbank , Vakifbank and Yapi Kredi ; flag carrier Turkish Airlines ; steelmaker Erdemir ; conglomerate Sabanci Holding ; mobile-phone operator Turkcell and oil refiner Tupras started trading on the exchange.

"Trading is not that high. The main reason is that the infrastructure has not been completed. Its the holiday season for foreign investors and this is having an impact on all markets as well," said Yasin Demir, head of domestic markets in Is Investment.

"Trading intensifies in short-term maturities. In options we are seeing investors' interest focusing on January options and in futures also for short-term futures," he said.

Investors' interest had been high, and thin trading should not be misread, Demir said, adding that institutional and individual investors has been inquiring about the market intensively.

The options will be U.S.-style and can be exercised at any time between the purchase date and the expiration date.

The Turkish government has said it aims to turn Istanbul into an international financial centre. Single stock futures and options market was planned to start trading by the end of 2012 as part of the government's ambitious strategy to turn the city into a financial hub by boosting its attractiveness to investors by increasing the variety of investment tools available.

Turkey had planned to trade single stock futures and options for years, but there had been a deadlock about whether the market would be in Istanbul or at the derivatives exchange based in the western city of Izmir.

The futures and options market's trading hours will be the same as the spot market, from 9:30 a.m. (0730 GMT) to 5:40 p.m.

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