(Bloomberg) -- Turkish stocks rose again, extending their wild ride this quarter, as lira weakness sent local investors looking for ways to protect their savings while making the country’s equities too cheap to ignore for foreign buyers.
The benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 Index advanced as much as 2.7% on Wednesday, a day after the lira hit another record low, with shares of exporters including home appliances maker Arcelik AS and airlines including Turkish Airlines among the biggest gainers. The gauge is up 32% in local currency terms so far this quarter, the best-performer among global equity markets. In dollar terms, it is the worst, down 12%.
“When the currency is weak and rates are low, stocks stand out as pretty much one of the few attractive asset classes left to protect savings for locals, especially those who may be thinking they’re late to catch the FX rally,” said Burak Isyar, head of equity research at ICBC Turkey Investment in Istanbul.
The lira, which dropped on Tuesday following comments by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that interest rates will continue to fall, rebounded Wednesday after Turkey’s central bank intervened in markets to stabilize the lira. The currency has weakened 35% amid a cumulative 400 basis points of rate cuts since mid-September.
Meanwhile, foreign investors have purchased $1 billion of Turkish equities this quarter through Nov. 19, with Istanbul’s benchmark index trading near the lowest level since 2009 in dollar terms.
“Exporters are a beneficiary of weak lira,” Isyar said, adding that Turkish stocks are very cheap for foreign buyers in dollar terms. “All in all, Turkish stocks come out as winners under the current conjecture.”
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