Stop Asking About Turkey's `Dude', It's Rude, Says Markets Head

  • `Dude' has been dictating market with size of his trades
  • Analyzing insider trading, manipulation is CMB's job: Ertas

Turkey’s regulator has weighed in on the mystery trader roiling the country’s stock market.

Vahdettin Ertas, the head of the Capital Markets Board, told reporters in Istanbul they were “rude” to question every inflow to the market, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Wednesday.

The regulator has until now remained largely silent on the unidentified investor -- known locally by the Turkish term “Herif,” that translates roughly as “the Dude” -- who has been dictating stock swings by placing trades that are sometimes double the market’s average volume. The phenomenon has gripped Turkish markets since appearing about a year and a half ago when $450 million of trades were made in a single day.

“If you keep asking questions about everything coming in and going out, no one will come,” Ertas was reported as saying. “Has $4 billion come in since the start of the year? It has. Could it leave tomorrow? It could. It could just as soon come back the next day.”

The unknown trader’s transactions have made the market harder to predict, leading to complaints that trading local stocks depends on anticipating the Dude’s next move. Turkey relies on foreign inflows to help finance its current-account deficit.

Speculation

“To jump on every inflow and ask ‘where did this come from, was it a man, was it the Dude?’ is rude," Ertas said. It’s the regulator’s job to analyze manipulation and insider trading, he said.

Bloomberg News reported on the mystery trader in March, since when local media outlets have speculated over the source of the trades. Suggestions have included an investor in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and an Indian hedge fund based in London.

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