ECONOMY

Turkish securities weaker on uncertain Cyprus prospects

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish shares and bonds weakened yesterday, as investors turned their attention to uncertain prospects for separate Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot referenda on a UN-backed plan to reunite the island on April 24. Shares on the main index ended down 0.29 percent at 20,272.94, extending losses of 0.75 percent on Monday, while yields on the most active August 24, 2005, bonds rose to 21.82 percent from 21.60 percent on Monday. Turkey’s military and political leaders signaled after a meeting of the National Security Council (MGK) on Monday that they would not block the UN plan, easing some market worries about prospects for a settlement. «The MGK has put the ball in the government’s court… We know the government’s stance is in favor of a solution,» said Sezai Saklaroglu from Seker Investment. «If this eases the market in the short term, there will still be narrow range trading, as there is no sign in polls that the Turkish side will definitely say ‘yes.’ That is creating tension,» Saklaroglu said. Bond yields ended higher after the Treasury sold a total 3,510 trillion lira ($2.69 billion) in two debt auctions yesterday at yields in line with market expectations. Turkey’s central bank said yesterday it was raising the volume of its daily dollar purchase auctions to a maximum $140 million today from $100 million amid expectations of foreign currency supply.