JP Morgan, banks face probe over ‘manipulation’

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ISTANBUL

Turkey’s banking regulator (BDDK) and capital markets watchdog (SPK) have launched separate investigations into banks and JP Morgan following volatility in Turkish markets.

“We have received complaints that some banks led clients to buy foreign currencies in a manipulative and misleading way. Our agency has launched an investigation and a probe and the necessary administrative and judicial processes will be conducted,” the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) said in a statement on March 23.

The BDDK, however, did not name those banks mentioned in the statement.

In separate announcements on March 23, the BDDK and the Capital Markets Board (SPK) also said that they have launched investigations into JP Morgan over a report issued by the investment bank on March 22.

The watchdogs said they had received complaints that the report in question hurt the reputation of Turkish banks and led to volatility in financial markets.

JP Morgan’s report had misleading and manipulative content, the authorities added.

The main stock exchange index BIST-100 was dropped 3.45 percent on March 22, with the banking index falling 6.64 percent.

Emerging market currencies lost value against the U.S. dollar on March 22 on concerns regarding the global economy. The greenback gained more than 4 percent against the Turkish Lira on March 22.

A recent fall in the Turkish Central Bank’s foreign currency reserves stemmed from sales of forex to energy-importing firms and a foreign debt payment, worth $5.3 billion in total, a Central Bank official told Reuters on March 22.

The official said the fall in reserves was not extraordinary and that the bank maintained a policy of accumulating reserves.

On March 22, the Central Bank said that considering the developments in financial markets, it decided to suspend the one-week repo auctions for a period of time.

BDDK, Turkish banks, JPMorgan, investigation



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