Turkey’s Halkbank shares drop after muted Trump-Erdogan meeting

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Shares of Turkey's Halkbank fell as much as 3 percent on Thursday after a meeting between the Turkish and US leaders did not appear to address US charges that the state-owned lender took part in a scheme to evade sanctions on Iran.

The stock was down 2.02 percent at 0741 GMT despite a ban on short selling that Turkish authorities applied on Oct. 16 after US prosecutors filed the charges. Halkbank has dismissed them as related to short-lived US sanctions over Turkey’s Syria incursion.

The meeting at the White House between US President Donald Trump and Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan “fell short to provide any material development about the critical issues such as... (the) Halkbank case for the time being,” said Oyak Securities.

In October, US federal prosecutors in New York charged Turkey’s Halkbank with fraud, money laundering, and sanctions offenses related to the bank’s alleged participation in a multi-billion-dollar scheme to evade US sanctions on Iran.

The prosecutors accused Halkbank and its officers of using businesses in Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to bypass sanctions on oil, gas, and gold supplies to Iran, prosecutors alleged.

President Erdogan said earlier this month that he plans to discuss the case of Halkbank with President Trump during this week’s talks in Washington.

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