GeriGündem Merrill says Turkey's Isbank well positioned in global credit crunch
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Merrill says Turkey's Isbank well positioned in global credit crunch

Merrill says Turkey's Isbank well positioned in global credit crunch
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Isbank, Turkey's biggest publicly traded bank, is among the best Turkish stock investments because it is well positioned to cope with the global credit crunch, Merrill Lynch & Co. said.

Istanbul-based Isbank is one of the most comfortable banks in Turkey in funding with a strong franchise,'? Merrill analysts including Michael Harris wrote in a report dated Wednesday, the Turkish Daily News reported on Saturday.

 

Isbank was among four stocks on Merrill's most-preferred list for Turkey.

 

The lender's shares have fallen 31 percent this year, less than the 37 percent drop on the Istanbul Stock Exchange's benchmark IMKB-100 index. Turkish banks may pay twice as much to borrow money abroad because of the global credit crunch, Isbank Chief Executive Officer Ersin Ozince said according to Hurriyet newspaper.

 

The Turkish market offers a ?quasi safe haven? during the global financial turmoil, so long as the Central Bank keeps the benchmark interest rate high to defend the lira currency, the Merrill report said.

 

The Bank left the rate unchanged at 16.75 percent, higher than any rate in Europe, Sept. 18 and said cuts are possible if inflation slows and energy prices fall.

 

Merrill added auto manufacturer Ford Otomotiv to its preferred list, saying the Ford Motor Co. unit is likely to increase dividends in 2009 and benefit from new production of the Transit light van.

 

Newspaper publisher Hurriyet Gazetecilik was also added to the list, and oil refiner Tupras was retained.

 

Garanti Bank, the Turkish bank partly owned by General Electric Co., and Turk Telekom, the country's biggest fixed-line phone company, were removed from Merrill's most preferred list.


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