Stock Market Guide to the Istanbul Stock Exchange
The Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) was founded as an autonomous professional organization for the trading in bonds, bills, equities, securities, certificates and real estate in early 1986. Known as the Istanbul Menkul Kiymetler Borsasi (IMKB) in Turkish, the ISE is still the only such trading corporation in existence in Turkey today. The ISE is currently situated at 34467 Emirgan in a modern building complex in Istanbul which has served as the corporation’s headquarters since 1995. Since its establishment, the ISE has proved to be a dynamic company with a growing market and an ever-increasing number of publicly traded companies. The technology that the corporation employs is state-of-the art and the ISE enjoys strong foreign participation which continues to benefit the corporation and the country. The ISE’s main objective is that of providing a transparent and fair trading environment for both domestic and foreign investors.
Turkey enjoys a somewhat traditional economy with a large agricultural sector which currently accounts for roughly 30% of the country’s employment. However, the private sector has been growing at an astounding rate and currently agriculture only accounts for 11.7% of the country’s GDP while industry accounts for 29.8% and services account for a massive 58.5%. Much of basic industry in Turkey, such as banking, transport and communications, is state run so the state still plays a major role in basic industry. The trend towards increasing private sector growth is clearly reflected on the ISE where things such as real estate certificates, bonds and equities are more frequently traded than most other items. Turkey is currently enjoying a roughly 5% GDP growth rate, though an estimated 20% of the country’s population still live below the poverty line.
Turkey’s main industries are steel, petroleum, construction, paper, wood, textiles, processed foods, cars, electronics and a variety of mining activities. The country currently exports more than 80 billion dollars worth of clothing, foodstuffs, textiles, metal and transport equipment annually. Its main export partners are Germany, Italy and the US, although it also does some business with France and Spain. Turkey also imports chemicals, fuel, transport equipment, semi-finished goods and machinery. Five examples of companies currently trading on the ISE are Alarko Holding, Brisa, Desa Deri, Deva Holding and Escort, though the stock exchange is home to 320 national companies. The ISE is open on all workdays between 9:30-12:00 and 14:00-16:30.