Turkey, Halkbank dollar-bonds rally after Syria deal with US

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Dollar-denominated bonds issued by Turkey’s government and state-lender Halkbank rallied sharply on Friday after Ankara agreed with the United States to pause its Syria assault.

Longer-dated government bonds chalked up the largest gains with the 2030 issue jumping 1.6 cents to 135.186 cents in the dollar, according to Tradeweb.


Dollar-denominated bonds issued by the country’s second-largest bank Halkbank also gained with the 2021 issue adding as much as 2.7 cents to 89.95 cents in the dollar.

The gains in Halkbank only partially recovered the hefty loss on Thursday when some issues tumbled more than 5 cents after US prosecutors charged the state-owned lender with taking part in a scheme to evade US sanctions on Iran.

“Halkbank, a Turkish state-owned bank, allegedly conspired to undermine the United States Iran sanctions regime by illegally giving Iran access to billions of dollars’ worth of funds, all while deceiving US regulators about the scheme,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This is one of the most serious Iran sanctions violations we have seen, and no business should profit from evading our laws or risking our national security,” he added.

The company denied the allegations and said it would exert all “legitimate rights against this unwarranted case under international law.” Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the move an “illegal, ugly” step.

Despite the ceasefire in northeastern Syria, shelling and gunfire was heard near the city of Ras al-Ain city on Friday, according to a Reuters reporter.

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