A mystery investor who first appeared a year and a half ago with $450 million of bets on a single day, almost double the market average, is now claimed to be executing huge transactions with increasing frequency, Bloomberg News has reported.
Turgay Ozaner and his partners at Istanbul Portfolio have been scouring the official daily trading recap for months for signs of the shadowy figure’s identity, but it is a code they have yet to crack, according to the Bloomberg report.
“Nobody knows anything for sure,” Ozaner was quoted as saying.
“And this is Turkey, where usually we all know what’s going on,” he added.
The clients of at least one European bank have stopped taking short-term positions in Turkish stocks after concluding that the investor is using an algorithmic system in which complex formulas decide trades, while others are avoiding the market until they have more information, a person familiar with the matter said, according to the Bloomberg report.
“Herif,” or “the dude,” has been claimed to help lift the average daily trading volume on the Borsa Istanbul almost 8 percent this year, compared with a 15 percent decline on the main exchange in Warsaw and a 27 percent plunge in Moscow, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index has advanced 13 percent in the period, outpacing Russia’s Micex and Poland’s WIG20.
“There’s a giant bull in the china shop,” said Kerem Baykal, a fund manager who oversees about $610 million at Ak Portföy. “He’s got deeper pockets than anyone else in the game and can move the market in any direction.”
The bigger issue may not be who “the dude” is, but what it is, according to Işık Ökte, an investment strategist at TEB Invest/BNP Paribas.
Borsa Istanbul moved its servers to a new data center late last year in the hope of luring business from automated traders before it restarts its long-delayed initial public offering. HFT firms often place their servers in the same center to get the fastest possible connection to an exchange’s computers.