December 24, 2012 / 9:36 AM / 6 years ago

Turkish assets steady in thin trade, Yapi Kredi Sigorta up

* Turkish assets steady

* Yapi Kredi Sigorta up ahead of possible sale

* 2013 monetary policy announcement eyed

ISTANBUL, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Turkish assets steadied on Monday in thin pre-holiday trade while shares in insurer Yapi Kredi Sigorta rose after it announced the transfer of shares in its pension arm to a new unit ahead of a possible sale.

Domestic markets will be open while western investors celebrate Christmas Day. The Turkish central bank holds a news conference at 0800 GMT on Tuesday to outline its expectations for 2013 monetary policy.

“We expect the central bank to reiterate that the combination of low short term rates and tight macroprudential measures is the appropriate policy mix under the current global conditions,” said Gokce Celik, an analyst at Finansbank.

He said the bank should provide guidance on loan growth next year, and announce its leverage ratio framework which aims to keep leverage in the banking system contained.

By 0815 GMT, the lira stood at 1.7958 to the dollar , only slightly stronger from 1.7963 late on Friday. Against the euro-dollar basket, it weakened to 2.0830 from 2.0822.

The yield on Turkey’s two-year benchmark bond was at 6.02 percent, unchanged from Friday’s close.

“It wouldn’t be correct to comment about the market levels as the liquidity is very low due to holidays,” wrote Fatih Keresteci, strategist at HSBC in a note.

Bond yields have been rising since the central bank delivered more moderate than expected cuts in interest rates on December 18.

Istanbul’s main share index was up 0.14 percent at 76,790 points, in line with a rise of 0.11 percent in the global emerging markets index.

Shares in Yapi Kredi Sigorta gained 3.08 percent up at 16.75 lira after it said late on Friday it planned to transfer pension unit Yapi Kredi Emeklilik shares to a new unit.

“This is a step forward for the sale of Yapi Kredi Bank’s insurance business and signals that the deal can happen soon... we consider the spin off as a positive development for minorities as Yapi Kredi Sigorta and Yapi Kredi Emeklilik can attract higher bids if sold separately,” wrote analysts at Ekspres Invest. (Writing by Seltem Iyigun; editing by Patrick Graham)

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