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Halkbank Climbs Most in One Month on Iran Talks: Istanbul Mover

Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS, a state-run Turkish lender, climbed the most in almost a month after the U.S. and its partners suggested sanctions on Iran’s banking system could be eased if the Islamic state agreed to curb its nuclear activities.

Halkbank, as the lender is known, jumped 3.6 percent to 17.15 liras at the close in Istanbul, its biggest advance since Feb. 1. The rise pared the stock’s loss this year to 2 percent. Turkey’s index of banks added 2.3 percent, while the benchmark ISE National 100 index increased 1.1 percent.

Halkbank Chief Executive Officer Suleyman Aslan said the lender has been acting as an intermediary for Turkey’s oil purchases from Iran “in a currency other than dollars,” in an interview with Bloomberg HT television on June 12.

The U.S. and its partners have urged Iran to curb its nuclear activities and are offering in exchange to ease banking, petrochemical and gold sanctions, according to two officials attending the talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

“It’s only natural that as talks with Iran progress, pressure on Halkbank shares is lifted,” Baki Atilal, research manager at Istanbul-based brokerage Turkish Investment, said in a phone interview today. “New offers extended to Iran, accompanied by signals of moderation, will continue to be positive for the stock.”

The talks between Iran and the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia started today and will resume tomorrow, according to diplomats.

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