Market Overview

Ugly Results, But Turkey Does Its Job Amid Turmoil

Ugly Results, But Turkey Does Its Job Amid Turmoil

On news of last Friday's now failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Ishares Msci Turkey Inv Market Index Fd (NYSE: TUR) tumbled during after-hours trading that day, a trend that carried over to U.S. trading Monday when the Turkey ETF lost more than 6 percent on heavy volume.

Turkish Stocks, Post-Coup Attempt

TUR's struggles did not abate Tuesday. The lone U.S.-listed exchange traded fund dedicated to Turkish equities slumped another 5.1 percent on volume that was more than quadruple the three-month daily average even after Turkey's central bank lowered interest rates by 25 basis points while pledging to provide liquidity to the country's banks.

Obviously, these are not attractive results, but the good news is TUR is behaving exactly as expected. Yes, TUR has faltered in recent days, but the ETF is providing investors with an efficient, liquid avenue for transacting in Turkish stocks.

Related Link: Failed Turkish Coup Consequences: Heightened Western Tensions, Increased Authoritarianism And "Fleeing" Foreign Capital

On Monday, “Trading volume in TUR was about 6x ADV – one of the highest volume days in the history of TUR, with 2.7 million shares traded (highest volume ever), sixth-highest by dollar volume ($105 million),” according to BlackRock.

BlackRock is the parent company of iShares, TUR's issuer and the world's largest ETF sponsor.

As StreetOne Financial pointed out in a note out Tuesday, options activity in TUR swelled on Monday, as three million shares changed hands in the ETF with August 30 puts being particularly active.

“TUR-listed options market activity today was elevated, roughly 60x average daily volume, highlighted by selling of deep out-of-the money August puts. This may suggest that some investors feel TUR has been oversold / has gone too far too fast,” added BlackRock.

What's Ahead For TUR?

TUR's efficiency as a price discovery vehicle at a tumultuous time in Turkey is the latest example of an ETF giving investors access to an international market during periods of volatility. Just as two examples, in recent years, ETFs tracking Egyptian and Greek stocks provided investors in the United States with price discovery tools amid lengthy closures of local markets in those countries.

As for TUR, the near-term outlook is murky. The ETF's three-year standard deviation of 29 percent is well above the 16.5 percent on the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and there is a possibility Moody's slaps Turkey with a junk credit rating.

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