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Turkey to Support Equities, WHO Sees Disease Risk

(Bloomberg) —

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According to officials who spoke to Bloomberg on condition of anonymity, Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund will support equities with a new mechanism to stem the market impact of the Feb. 6 earthquake. Turkey will also suspend some gold imports.

The twin tremors that hit the country’s southeast last week have killed over 37,000 people in Turkey and Syria.

Important developments:

  • Turkey Wealth Fund supports stocks with new mechanism

  • Turkey will temporarily suspend some gold imports

  • Turkey offers support for stocks as trading resumes on Wednesday

  • Turkey plans tax exemption for share buybacks on the stock exchange

  • ‘The Dude’ draws regulators’ ire with huge sales following Turkey’s earthquake

  • Turkish Business Group sees economic damage from quake at US$84 billion

  • Why Turkey’s next election will be a real test for Erdogan: QuickTake

(All times Istanbul, GMT+3)

Turkey Amends Stock Exchange Rules Ahead of Reopening (4:05 p.m.)

Turkey’s Borsa Istanbul banned order cancellations and lowering order prices in the opening session.

Trading was suspended last week for the first time in 24 years after the tremors triggered a major sell-off, and is set to resume on February 15.

Turkey bans export of prefab houses (3:16 p.m.)

Turkey’s trade ministry banned the export of container houses and prefabricated structures for three months to meet urgent housing needs after the earthquake, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

WHO doubles aid, highlights disease risk (3:16 p.m.)

The World Health Organization will more than double its original $43 million appeal for its earthquake relief efforts in Syria and Turkey due to the scale of the crisis, Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, said in a briefing on Tuesday.

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The agency also expressed concern about emerging health issues related to the cold weather and hygiene, particularly waterborne diseases and viruses such as influenza and Covid-19, as displaced people are forced to huddle together.

Read more: WHO likely to double efforts to fund $43 million in earthquakes

Arrests on Social Media (2:10 p.m.)

Turkish police have taken legal action against 221 social media account managers and arrested 64 people accused of making provocative social media posts about earthquakes to stoke fear and panic among citizens. 17 of those arrested were subsequently arrested.

Turkey to Temporarily Suspend Some Gold Imports (1:04 p.m.)

According to an official with direct knowledge of the matter, Turkey will suspend some gold imports as part of a contingency plan to mitigate the economic fallout from the earthquakes. The ministry declined to comment.

Read more: Turkey to temporarily suspend some gold imports

Turkey Wealth Fund to support equities (1:00 p.m.)

Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund will support equities with a new fund, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The so-called Price Stability Fund will receive capital from state lenders and use the money to buy shares in times of volatility, officials said, asking not to be identified because the decision was not made public.

Read more: Turkey Wealth Fund supports equities with new mechanism

Turkey Thanks Israel for Earthquake Assistance (11:08 am)

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen held a joint press conference in Ankara where Cavusoglu praised Israel’s rescue teams that were deployed to Turkey shortly after the quakes. Cohen is expected to visit the areas affected by the earthquake.

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READ ALSO: Israel And Turkey Resume Full Diplomatic Relations After Long Break

Turkey plans to resume stock trading on Wednesday (10:24 a.m.)

Turkey plans to resume trading on Borsa Istanbul on Wednesday, according to an official with direct knowledge of the matter.

Authorities considered extending the trade freeze ahead of a meeting on Monday. As of Tuesday morning, the plan is to start trading on February 15 as originally planned.

Assad allows UN to use additional border crossings with Turkey (8:45 am)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he would allow United Nations agencies to use two additional border crossings with Turkey for a three-month period, according to statements by the United Nations and the Syrian government.

Although countries such as Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have already brought aid through the Bab Al-Salam and Al-Ra’ee crossings, the UN has held back for failing to get Assad’s approval. The delay has angered Assad opponents, who say many lives could have been saved under the rubble if the UN and world powers had acted sooner.

Syria earthquake relief means getting ‘creative’, says World Bank (08:35)

Turkey and Syria will need tens of billions of dollars in aid to help their cities recover from the earthquakes, a senior World Bank official said.

“The bank just shipped $1.8 billion to Turkey because we have a relationship,” said Ferid Belhaj, the lender’s president for the Middle East and North Africa. “With Syria, we don’t have that, so we have to be creative,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

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Reconstruction begins at the end of February (1:17 a.m.)

Turkey will start reconstruction work in all 10 cities hit by the quakes before the end of February, Minister for Urbanization and Climate Change Murat Kurum said, according to state-run TV channel TRT.

Turkey denies new flow of Syrian refugees (00:22)

Vice President Fuat Oktay dismissed reports of a flood of refugees from Syria after last week’s earthquakes left thousands dead and many homeless. “A migration wave is out of the question, our borders are under control,” Oktay said, referring to security measures against a new flow of refugees across the Syrian border. Turkey, which hosts the world’s largest refugee population of around 3.7 million Syrians, has repeatedly said it cannot take more refugees.

–Assisted by Firat Kozok, Kerim Karakaya, Tugce Ozsoy, Sam Dagher and Marthe Fourcade.

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