ISTANBUL, March 6 Turkish stocks firmed on
Thursday, boosted by higher than expected quarterly profit from
biscuit maker Ulker, while efforts to defuse the
Ukrainian crisis gave some general relief to Turkish assets.
European Union leaders were expected to warn but not
sanction Russia on Thursday over its military intervention in
Ukraine after Moscow rebuffed Western diplomatic efforts to
persuade it to pull forces in Crimea back to their bases.
The crisis, just across the Black Sea from Turkey, has
cranked up regional political tensions and heightened aversion
among investors towards riskier emerging market assets at a time
when Turkish markets were already facing pressure from a
corruption scandal in the run-up to local elections on March 30.
The lira firmed to 2.2012 against the dollar by
0901 GMT from 2.2085 late on Wednesday. The 10-year benchmark
bond yield inched down to 10.52 percent from
10.54 percent on Wednesday with some analysts seeing negative
news as already priced into Turkish assets.
"For Turkey, the weak levels of the currency and government
bonds seem to have started attracting investors, as a lot of the
negative news seems to have already been reflected in prices," a
note from Erkin Isik, strategist at TEB-BNP Paribas said.
Confectioner Ulker, owned by food giant Yildiz Holding, said
its net profit for the final quarter of 2013 surged to 66
million lira ($29.96 million), an increase of 152 percent on the
same period of the previous year.
Ulker's shares jumped more than 6 percent on Thursday
morning, while Gozde Girisim the financial arm of
Yildiz, which also owns Godiva, saw its shares rise more than 8
The Istanbul share index rose 1.01 percent to
64,085.78 points, outperforming the wider emerging markets index
, which was up 0.87 percent.
($1 = 2.2031 Turkish liras)
(Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva; Editing by Gareth Jones)