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Turkish regulators suspend short selling in big banks' shares

Turkey banned short selling in shares of some of the biggest banks in the country following the indictment of state-controlled Türkiye Halk Bankası AŞ in the U.S. for allegedly participating in a scheme to circumvent sanctions on Iran, Bloomberg News reported.

The local stock exchange initially suspended short-selling in Halkbank, but the Capital Markets Board decided to extend the ban to other banks, including Akbank TAŞ, Türkiye Garanti Bankası AŞ and Türkiye İş Bankası AŞ.

The CMB also decided that the sale of the banks' shares will only be done from brokers holding clients' stocks, according to the Oct. 16 report. The regulators did not say when the suspension would end.

Additionally, banking watchdog BDDK cautioned banks against offering lira liquidity in the international money market, insiders told Bloomberg. This comes amid recent heavy dollar sales by state-owned banks amid a slump in the local currency.