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Turkish shares close down 7% after coup attempt

Turkish Lira Image copyright Getty Images

Shares in Istanbul closed down by 7.1% following Friday's attempted coup in Turkey.

But the Turkish Lira, which initially fell by nearly 5%, recovered some of its lost ground and rose by 1.4% on Monday.

Over the weekend the government moved to calm fears and said it had consulted the central bank and the treasury and decided on "all necessary measures".

The central bank said it would provide unlimited liquidity to banks.

At about 1600 BST the lira was trading at 2.97.31 against the dollar, having ended the week at 3.01.57 per dollar, close to the record low set last September.

'Vulnerable'

After a fairly quiet start to trading on Monday, shares on the Istanbul National-100 stock exchange slid by nearly 9% at one point, before clawing back some ground.

Salman Ahmed, chief global strategist at Swiss investment manager Lombard Odier, said the "swift resolution of the problem" had largely helped to cushion the shock to financial markets.

However, there are fears events could further damage Turkey's tourism industry, which is crucial to the economy.

Shares in tourism-related companies were worst hit on the Istanbul National-100 stock exchange. Airport operator TAV saw its shares fall by 17.34% and Turkish Airlines was down by 12.58%.

In May, visitor numbers were 35% lower than the same time last year, following some high profile security incidents.

"Given the sharp rise in political instability and Turkey's extremely vulnerable external profile, which is likely to worsen as tourism gets hit further, we think Turkish assets are likely to remain under pressure," said Mr Ahmed.

He pointed out that Turkey was already considered as vulnerable among emerging economies. The World Bank has forecast that Turkey's economy will grow by 3.5% this year, compared with 4.5% last year, which is low compared with other emerging nations.

The wide current account deficit is a particular problem. In 2015 it stood at more than $32bn (£24bn), or about 4.5% of GDP, and this is set to deteriorate because of the predicted decline in tourism and the blow to investor confidence.

Considering investments

Bulent Gultekin is Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, but in the 1990s he was governor of Turkey's central bank.

In an interview for the BBC he was asked about the consequences of the coup attempt.

He said that in the short term people would be "looking and considering their investment strategies and waiting to see how things will turn out".

"In the long run, inability to invest for long-term projects - education in particular, research and development, and to build human capital up further to become another [South] Korea - is going to be a tougher thing to do," he added.

Turkish government bond yields rose on Monday - an indication that the government is having to pay investors more to lend it money.

Until the coup attempt, the Istanbul National 100 stock index had risen by almost 15% since the beginning of the year.

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