Russian court imposes injunction on UniCredit’s assets

MOSCOW: A Russian court has imposed an injunction Friday on assets worth pound 463 million ($503 million) belonging to Italian-based UniCredit bank. The Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region heard the case against UniCredit by the Gazprom-owned RusHimAlyans company. The assets include securities, real estate and funds in the bank's accounts, according to the court's decision. The Gazprom-owned company had previously filed lawsuits against Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank. UniCredit was among the guarantors of a contract with Germany's Linde for the construction of a natural gas processing plant in Russia, which was terminated due to sanctions. Source: Anadolu Agency

International venture capital funds eager to invest in Trkiye: Technology minister

LONDON: International venture capital funds are eager to invest in Trkiye, Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacir said Friday. Kacir, who was in London to attend a series of programs, answered questions from Turkish media after meeting with venture capital fund managers. He highlighted Trkiye's burgeoning capabilities and strategic initiatives in key areas such as health technologies, green transformation technologies, digital transformation technologies and artificial intelligence. Kacir emphasized the advanced level achieved by Turkish technology startups, particularly in next-generation mobility technologies -- a crucial component of the green transformation. "I shared Trkiye's capacity in these areas extensively," he said. "Investors expressed their desire to increase their presence in our country. He pointed out that Trkiye's approach serves as a global example of how public resources can be effectively utilized to accelerate technology startups. "Our work demonstrates how public resources are bein g used and evaluated to support technology startups at a level rarely seen worldwide," he noted. "These initiatives have already borne fruit, with technology startups in Trkiye receiving significantly larger investments compared to previous periods. From 2010 to 2020, the annual investment in Turkish tech companies and startups was approximately $100 million. However, between 2020 and 2023, this figure skyrocketed to $4 billion over three years," he explained. The influx of capital has accelerated the emergence of billion-dollar unicorns in Trkiye affectionately termed "Turcorns." "Today, we have several tech startups valued at over a billion dollars in sectors such as gaming, e-commerce, software, and fintech," Kacir noted. Looking ahead, he outlined an ambitious vision for Trkiye's technology and entrepreneurship ecosystem. By 2030, Trkiye aims to foster the creation of 100,000 technology startups, with 100 achieving Turcorns status. "To achieve this, we must strengthen our international collaboration s and more effectively communicate and promote the country's success stories in technology entrepreneurship to the world," said Kacir. London, a global hub for venture capital and asset funds, hosts more than 500 capital funds, which annually allocate substantial resources to technology and entrepreneurship. "In the coming period, we will enhance our relationships and communication with these funds. We will organize similar events in Trkiye together with them and continue to accelerate the growth of the country's technological startups," he said. Rapid decline in credit default swaps shows Turkish economy on right track A significant part of the discussions also focused on Trkiye's innovation-friendly regulatory environment. Kacir highlighted the success of fintech startups in Trkiye, attributing it to the public sector's innovative and supportive approach. "We talked at length about how the public sector's innovative and innovation-friendly approach has been crucial to the success of fintech startups i n Trkiye," he said. In addition, the minister noted the new legislation on crypto assets being drafted at the Turkish Grand National Assembly. "All these approaches demonstrate how strongly Trkiye hosts innovative technologies and how it has achieved the most advanced level of transformation," he added. The improvement of Trkiye's macroeconomic indicators was also a key topic of discussion. Kacir highlighted the rapid decline in credit default swaps (CDS), the risk premiums of the treasury stocks, as an important sign that the Turkish economy is on the right track. "We foresee a significant acceleration of investments in Trkiye in the coming period," he said, adding that this sentiment is shared by international investors and venture capital fund managers. Source: Anadolu Agency

US consumer inflation annually rises 3.4% in April, monthly up 0.3%; both slowing down from March

ISTANBUL: Consumer inflation in the US annually rose 3.4% in April, and monthly increased 0.3%, as both figures slowed down from March, according to data released Wednesday. The consumer price index (CPI), which measures changes in the prices of goods and services from a consumer's perspective, came in line with market estimates on an annual basis, after rising 3.5% in March year-on-year. The figure is a sharp decline from the 9.1% annual gain recorded in July 2022, which was the highest since November 1981. The CPI rose 0.3% in April, compared to the previous month, coming below the market expectation of a 0.4% increase. The figure showed a monthly gain of 0.4% in March. "The index for shelter rose in April, as did the index for gasoline," the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a statement. "Combined, these two indexes contributed over seventy percent of the monthly increase in the index for all items." "The energy index rose 1.1 percent over the month. The food index was unchanged i n April," it added. Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, gained 0.3% in April from the previous month, also coming in line with market estimates, and slowing its pace from the 0.4% gain in March. Annually, core CPI climbed 3.6% in April, also in line with market expectations, following a 3.8% year-on-year gain in March. President Joe Biden later in a statement released by the White House said fighting inflation and lowering costs is his top economic priority. "I know many families are struggling, and that even though we've made progress we have a lot more to do," he said in the statement. "Prices are still too high-so my agenda will give families breathing room by building two million new homes to lower housing costs, taking on Big Pharma to lower prescription drug prices, and calling on grocery chains making record profits to lower grocery prices for consumers." Biden said inflation has fallen more than 60% from its peak, while core inflation fell to its lowest level in three years. He argued that Republicans want to cut taxes for the wealthy and big corporations, raise taxes for middle class families, protect special interests and major pharmaceutical companies, and undermine workers and seniors by slashing Social Security and Medicare. "All that would send inflation skyrocketing," the president said. "I have a different vision for the future: one in which we take on special interests to lower costs and give the middle class a fair shot," he added. Source: Anadolu Agency

Canada’s manufacturing sales decline 2.1% in March

ISTANBUL: Canada's manufacturing sales declined 2.1% to $69.9 billion in March, according to figures released Wednesday by the country's statistical agency. The market expectation for the figure was to show a 2.4% decrease. The figure for February was revised up to a gain of 0.9% from an increase of 0.7%. The decline was led by lower sales of petroleum and coal products and motor vehicles. "Following a 5.7% increase in February, sales of petroleum and coal products decreased 8.0% to $8.0 billion in March, on lower volumes," Statistics Canada said in a statement. "Following two consecutive monthly increases, sales of motor vehicles declined 7.9% to $4.6 billion in March, while sales of motor vehicle parts were down 2.8%," it added. On a quarterly basis, total manufacturing sales were down 0.9% during the January-March period, mostly due to lower sales of transportation equipment that fell 3% and primary metals that declined 4.4%. Source: Anadolu Agency

Turkish manufacturers sell 4.5M products worldwide via Trendyol

ISTANBUL: Turkish manufacturers sold approximately 4.5 million products worldwide in March and April through the e-commerce platform Trendyol. Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan were the recipient countries of the most products purchased, according to recent data from the firm. The foreign cities with the most interest in Turkish-made products were listed as Riyadh, Jeddah, Baku, Dubai, Mecca, and Abu Dhabi. Whereas, Gaziantep, Denizli, Adana, and Mersin were the top Turkish cities where goods were sold, while Kocaeli made its first appearance in the top ten cities with the highest exports. Turkish sellers on the platform sold over 1 million items in the Gulf region during the holy month of Ramadan, accounting for 25% of total sales. The export volume of products sold by Turkish manufacturers on Trendyol reached $650 million last year. *Writing by Emir Yildirim Source: Anadolu Agency

US stocks open higher as consumer inflation slows down

ISTANBUL: US stocks opened higher on Wednesday as consumer inflation in April slowed down both on annual and monthly basis. The Dow Jones was up 224 points, or 0.57%, to 39,782 at 9.43 a.m. EDT (1343GMT). The S and P 500 rose by 30 points, or 0.57%, to 5,275. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, increased 91 points, or 0.55%, to 16,602 at the time. Consumer inflation in the US annually rose 3.4% in April, and monthly increased 0.3%, as both figures slowed down from March gains of 3.5% and 0.4%, respectively, according to the Labor Department figures released earlier. The VIX volatility index, also known as the fear index, fell 2.4% to 13.19. The 10-year US Treasury yield lost 1.48% to 4.380%. The dollar index shed 0.32% to 104.67, while the euro added 0.18% to $1.0839 against the greenback. Precious metals were in the red, with gold losing 0.2% to $2,353 per ounce and silver decreasing 0.22% to $28.56. Oil prices were down around 1.5% with global benchmark Brent crude at $81.18 per barrel and US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude at $76.82. Source: Anadolu Agency

Turkish debt capital markets buoyed by improved investor confidence

ANKARA: Fitch Ratings said Wednesday that Turkish debt capital market (DCM) was buoyed by improved investor confidence with a shift toward more conventional macroeconomic policies. Turkish DCM will continue to be driven primarily by sovereign financing, funding diversification goals, and the Islamic finance development agenda over the next two years, it said in a report. "The recent revival in foreign-currency debt issuances is a sign of lower near-term refinancing risks due to improved investor sentiment since Trkiye's adoption of more conventional macroeconomic policies," said Bashar Al Natoor, Global Head of Islamic Finance at Fitch Ratings. The rating agency expects banks and corporates to maintain a smaller DCM share than sovereigns, with issuance mostly opportunistic given the still-high costs. In the medium term, DCM is projected to surpass $450 billion outstanding, with sukuk to exceed 20% of the issuance mix, it added. "With over $225 billion external debt maturing in the next 12 months as of De cember 2023, Trkiye has always been vulnerable to shifts in investor sentiments, although the sovereign and private sector have proved resilient in their ability to access external financing," Al Natoor noted. Source: Anadolu Agency