On Wednesday, 8th February 2023, Turkish stock exchange Borsa Istanbul suspended trading due to two massive earthquakes which hit the country in the early hours of 6th February. The benchmark BIST-100 index opened down 0.52% and was suspended at 7.09% down, while the banking sub-index (.XBANK) was down 6.03%. Transactions were suspended on Borsa Istanbul and the benchmark index was suspended at 4,186.01 points after opening at 4,482.11 points.
It was the first time the stock exchange was suspended in 24 years and the selloff erased US$35 billion from the value of its main equities gauge. The benchmark BIST-100 index entered a technical bear market on Tuesday after falling more than 20% from its January high.
The devastating earthquakes in the south of the country have so far claimed more than 9,500 lives and injured 52,979 others, according to the Turkish Disaster Management Authority (AFAD). President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that the death toll could exceed 10,000.
Haydar Acun, managing partner of Marmara Capital in Istanbul, stated that in the face of a disaster such as this, halting trading in the stock market is a wiser choice in order to safeguard investors. In the country, investing in equities has become popular as a way to protect against the serious inflation, which reached as high as 86% in 2022.
The stock exchange suspended trading after two market-wide circuit breakers failed to stop the slide in the main index. Trading in the equity market, and single stock and index futures, and options contracts in derivatives market were all suspended. It is still unclear when trading will resume.
0. “Istanbul bourse suspends trading after main index drops 7pc” Dunya News, 8 Feb. 2023, https://dunyanews.tv/en/Business/697360-Istanbul-bourse-suspends-trading-after-main-index-drops-7pc
1. “Turkey halts stock market trading after $35-billion wipeout in earthquakes' aftermath” Financial Post, 8 Feb. 2023, https://financialpost.com/investing/turkey-halts-stock-market-trading-35-billion-wipeout-earthquake-aftermath
2. “Turkish stock exchange temporarily halts trading in wake of deadly quakes” TRT World, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.trtworld.com/business/turkish-stock-exchange-temporarily-halts-trading-in-wake-of-deadly-quakes-65289