Tokyo Banking Correspondent
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May 25, 2015

Stalling economy hurts Turkey’s AK Party ahead of election

ISTANBUL, May 25 (Reuters) – Murat Dalga stands in a shop
filled with everything but customers and swears he won’t be
voting for Turkey’s ruling AK Party this time around.

“In 20 years I’ve never seen it so bad,” the 38-year-old
electronics salesman said amid rows of televisions and fridges.
“The AKP used to be the party of the working class, but not any
more. They will definitely bleed this time.”

May 7, 2015

Canada risks being sidelined in Pacific trade deal -USDA head

May 7, ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Canada risks getting left behind
in a 12-nation Pacific trade deal because it has been reluctant
to negotiate on opening its markets, U.S. Agriculture Secretary
Tom Vilsack said on Thursday.

Vilsack also told Reuters that longstanding disagreements
with Japan over rice exports would not threaten the
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and that the two countries were
working toward a compromise.

Apr 21, 2015

Lira’s slide could squeeze dollar-laden Turkish companies

ISTANBUL, April 21 (Reuters) – Turkish companies could be
left struggling to service foreign currency debts following a
sharp decline in the lira this year, squeezing profits and
investment and further hampering economic growth.

Istanbul’s blue-chip BIST 30 is already the worst
performer among 30 emerging markets stock indexes year to date,
down nearly 17 percent, as the lira’s weakness weighs on sectors
from banking to industrials.

Mar 17, 2015

Russia’s Alfa Telecom bids $2.8 billion to double stake in Turkcell

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Russia’s Alfa Telecom offered $2.8 billion on Tuesday to buy back a 13.8 percent stake in Turkcell (TCELL.IS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a move that would give billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s group control of Turkey’s top mobile operator.

But even at a hefty 94 percent premium, the bid is likely to meet stiff resistance from Turkish regulators, analysts said, given Ankara’s opposition to the market leader falling into foreign hands after a long battle between the Russians and one of Turkcell’s founders.

Mar 15, 2015

Rise of Turkish Islamic banks chimes with Erdogan’s ideals

ISTANBUL, March 15 (Reuters) – Selling fruit from a cart in
a working-class neighbourhood of Istanbul hasn’t made Mehmet
rich, but he’s adamant his modest savings won’t ever see the
inside of a bank.

“Getting paid interest is a sin,” he said, piling bunches of
grapes onto a rusty set of scales in the conservative Fatih

Mar 5, 2015

Citigroup sells stake in Turkey’s Akbank for $1.2 billion

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has sold its nearly 10 percent stake in Turkey’s Akbank (AKBNK.IS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $1.2 billion, the U.S. lender said on Thursday, its latest disposal of overseas assets to cut costs and boost capital.

New York-based Citi has pared back internationally in recent years, pulling out of retail banking in Turkey and in long-established markets such as Japan.

Mar 3, 2015

Turkey stock exchange to go public in bid to jump-start equity market

ISTANBUL, March 3 (Reuters) – Turkey’s stock exchange Borsa
Istanbul said on Tuesday it plans to go public, in Ankara’s
latest move to bolster its $220 billion equity market that has
punched below its weight for years.

Borsa Istanbul, the country’s only stock exchange, plans to
list up to 43 percent of its capital through the sale of most of
the shares now held by the national Treasury.

Feb 10, 2015

Finance chiefs vow action to bolster growth at G20 meet, Greece weighs

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Finance officials from the Group of 20 leading economies sketched an uncertain outlook for global growth on Tuesday and vowed to use monetary and fiscal policy if needed to stem any risk of stagnation.

The United States urged nations at the G20 meeting not to resort to currency devaluations to boost exports, an indication Washington is starting to feel wary of its allies manipulating their exchange rates to support growth.

Jan 30, 2015

S.African private school firm denies race segregation charges

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 30 (Reuters) – A popular South African
private school firm on Friday denied charges of racially
segregating classrooms, saying it sometimes separates children
based on culture, a policy that has provoked public anger 20
years after the end of apartheid.

A group of around 30 parents signed a petition this week
against what they said was racial segregation at the Curro
Foundation School in Roodeplaat, a town near Pretoria, according
to local media reports.

Nov 25, 2014

South Africa’s Steinhoff expands discount offer with $5.7 billion Pepkor buy

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Steinhoff International (SHFJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will buy clothing retailer Pepkor in a $5.7 billion deal that gives the budget furniture firm exposure to Africa’s fast-growing apparel market and strengthens its business in eastern Europe.

The acquisition will allow Steinhoff, one of the world’s largest listed furniture companies, to diversify into clothing as rising sub-Saharan wealth lifts consumer demand.

    • About David

      "David Dolan covers banks, consumer lenders and financial regulation in the world's second-largest economy. Before that, he covered Tokyo's stock market for Reuters and also did reporting stints on Capitol Hill and Chicago's City Hall. He was born in Ireland and grew up in Chicago."
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