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Fenerbahce, Besiktas Climb on Bets Clubs Will Stay in League

Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Fenerbahce Sportif Hizmetleri AS, the merchandising arm of Turkey’s championship soccer club, rose the most in more than a year as investors bet the team wouldn’t be removed from the first division league amid a match-fixing probe involving the team’s chairman. Other listed clubs rallied.

Fenerbahce jumped 20 percent to 54 liras, the most since April 2010. The stock plunged as much as 49 percent since the start of July to a 2 1/2-year low on Aug. 10 after the club’s chairman Aziz Yildirim was arrested along with dozens of others in the probe of matches in Turkey’s soccer league.

Turkey’s soccer federation said it couldn’t make a decision on the clubs because the investigation by prosecutors remained secret, Mehmet Ali Aydinlar, chairman of the federation, told reporters today in Istanbul after the markets closed. Since the probe became public on July 3, 31 people have been arrested and the league kick-off has been postponed by a month to September, Hurriyet reported Aug. 12. The federation could choose to delay any penalties until the trials are completed, it said.

It was “pure gambling on the ‘no relegation’ outcome,” said Ata Doganoglu, a trader at Ekspres Invest in Istanbul. “All the papers are arguing that those clubs won’t be relegated.”

The merchandising units of clubs Besiktas and Galatasaray in Istanbul and a team in the Black Sea city of Trabzon gained. Besiktas Futbol Yatirimlari Sanayi & Ticaret AS climbed 12 percent to 8.80 liras, and Galatasaray Sportif Sinai & Ticari Yatirimlar AS advanced 16 percent to 288 liras. Trabzonspor Sportif Yatirim & Futbol Isletmeciligi AS gained 15 percent to 15.30 liras.

To contact the reporter on this story: Benjamin Harvey in Istanbul at bharvey11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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