The debates over the partnership structures of the İzmir-based Turkish Derivatives Exchange (TurkDEX) are still on the table, although both the Capital Markets Board (SPK) and the İstanbul Stock Exchange (İMKB) have repeatedly denied the claims.
TurkDEX Chairwoman Işınsu Kestelli first publicized the controversy between the institutions early this week, claiming that the İMKB wanted to be TurkDEX's largest partner in return for bestowing the authority on TurkDEX to conduct single stock futures. TurkDEX had previously asked the SPK for permission to hold single stock futures operations, a single transaction that allows the simultaneous sale of a put and purchase of a call for a given stock.
Neither the İMKB nor the SPK lost any time denying the claims, but their responses were not enough to satisfy the TurkDEX managers. Kestelli says the İMKB wants to move TurkDEX to İstanbul and have full control over this rapidly growing stock market.
She reiterated her resentment during a speech in İstanbul on Wednesday evening at a ceremony organized to celebrate TurkDEX's fifth anniversary and the promotion of its new logo. "Let TurkDEX be larger and ours, instead of smaller and mine," she said, criticizing the İMKB's attempts to rise to become the largest stakeholder in the derivatives bourse.
In her speech, Kestelli underlined that TurkDEX has grown nearly 100-fold since it was first founded in 2005 and has become an indispensable actor in the domestic capital market. She said the SPK must allow single stock futures soon for the success level to rise higher.
She gave her opinion on the new logo, too, saying it represented TurkDEX's ambitious motto of, "I am in the race, too."
TurkDEX General Manager Çetin Ali Dönmez also addressed the audience, saying İzmir's bourse has become one of the largest stock markets in the world with its daily transaction volume. "TurkDEX's trade volume surely works in its own favor, but it is not against the İMKB. The İstanbul bourse would not have reached its current levels without the support of TurkDEX," he asserted.
The SPK president, Professor Vedat Akgiray, was also among the speakers, and he focused mainly on the necessity of acting together. Leading the capital markets to higher growth rates is among the most important responsibilities of the SPK, he said and continued with his remarks: "We aren't acting with a preset differentiation between the bourses of different regions like İstanbul or İzmir, but by considering the capital markets as a whole, we see the situation in terms of management, the sharing of revenues and competition, and we have nothing to do with the politics or regions in this issue. What really matters is TurkDEX's growth and all bourses must walk arm in arm," he commented.
He further denied the claims that the SPK sent an official letter asking other partners of TurkDEX to pave the way for the increase of the İMKB's share. “That the SPK would issue an official request and this request be rejected, is such a thing possible?” he asked.
If they are so supportive of İzmir, why are they in İstanbul? Answering questions after the ceremony, İMKB President Hüseyin Erkan said he could not understand how this argument erupted out of nothing. He said the İMKB had no intention of moving TurkDEX to İstanbul, but will fully support its location in İzmir to the bitter end. Still, he was critical of the TurkDEX managers' conflicting stance on this issue by asking the question, "Why are they organizing this meeting in İstanbul if they are so committed to their ties with İzmir?"
Regarding its desire to increase its share in TurkDEX, however, he confirmed the İMKB's intention and emphasized that the decision on this issue belongs to the SPK. "We are making great sacrifices. We are allowing TurkDEX to use all of our technical infrastructure and contracts. We are keeping ourselves away from derivatives trade although we have the right to do it. All this generosity must see a reciprocal counterbalance," he said.