Dude-Linked Brokerage Fueled Selloff in Turkish Airlines

  • Yatirim Finansman dumped net 68 million liras on Wednesday
  • Trading volume in Turkish Airlines soared to July 2009 high

The Turkish brokerage traders suspect is working with an influential mystery investor accelerated a selloff in the country’s most recommended stock.

Turkish Airlines sank the most in five months on Wednesday as 145 million shares changed hands, the most since July 2009. Yatirim Finansman, which became the biggest net buyer in the airline this year after it bought 144 million liras ($51 million) worth of the company’s shares, offloaded a net 68 million liras yesterday, more than double the second-biggest seller.

The sudden burst in trading in Turkish Airlines is the latest evidence a mystery trader is responsible for buoying volumes in the nation’s stock market. The investor is said to have first appeared a year and a half ago with $450 million of bets on a single day, almost double the market average. “Herif,” or “the dude,” as traders call him, has helped lift the average daily trading volume on the Borsa 100 about 20 percent since December compared with 2015’s full-year average.

Yatirim Finansman Chief Executive Officer Seniz Yarcan said the dude is a whole class of new investors that trade with algorithms, financial newspaper Dunya reported this month. The brokerage, which handled less than 2 percent of all trades two years ago, now accounts for the majority on some days. The company didn’t immediately return calls to the CEO’s office or respond to a request for comment by e-mail.

Turkish Airlines had 23 buy recommendations as of April 20. The shares plunged 6.8 percent on Wednesday, and were the most traded equity on the Borsa Istanbul 100 Index. The stock fell 1.1 percent on Thursday.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.