In Turkey’s Roaring Market, Few Stocks Can Outpace 70% Inflation

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(Bloomberg) — Turkey’s benchmark equities index may be a top performer globally this year, but few stocks have been able to protect local investors from inflation running at more than 70%.

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The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index is up 36% in 2022, the most among 92 global indexes tracked by Bloomberg bar one. But with almost 30 market segments to choose from, only a bet on the transport sector has kept ahead of rising consumer prices, thanks to optimism over the outlook for Turkey’s tourism industry.

Inflation has, in fact, been a key driver of the Istanbul market’s advance, with stocks providing one of few options for Turks trying to shield their savings. Foreign investors are largely absent, discouraged by concerns that policy makers aren’t getting to grips with CPI that accelerated to 73.5% in May, the highest level since 1998.

The sharpest local stock pickers have focused on the 17 members of the 100-strong benchmark index that have risen faster than prices this year, flitting between names producing the best returns. This short-term outlook has paid off for some, but has the effect of curtailing gains over longer periods, according to ICBC Turkey Securities’s Burak Isyar.

“This is a vicious cycle and is a sign why we’re not seeing a longer-term, a broad-based — maybe even an inflation-beating — rally in the absence of foreign investors,” he said.

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