Aselsan becomes most valuable listed firm in Turkey

Defence and technology firm Aselsan, majority-owned by the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation, became Turkey’s most valuable listed company on Tuesday, surpassing Istanbul-based bank Garanti, according to stock exchange data.

Aselsan’s rise can be partly attributed to the focus of the government on defence and infrastructure. But Garanti, traditionally favoured by many foreign investors investing in Turkish stocks, and other banks in the country have underperformed the main BIST-100 index amid concern that higher interest rates and inflation will curb profits. The BIST-100 has surged more than 45 percent over the past 12 months, in lira terms, while the banking index has climbed 30 percent.

Aselsan rose 6.8 percent to 44.98 lira at 11:08 a.m. in Istanbul, valuing the company at 45 billion lira ($11.6 billion). Garanti is worth 43 billion lira.

The company, based in Ankara, is managed by Mustafa Şeker, a bureaucrat in Turkey's Undersecretariat of Defence Industries