Dogan shares plummet as Turkish prosecutors probe 'Army HQ gripes' article

Dogan shares plummet as Turkish prosecutors probe 'Army HQ gripes' article
The conjoined Trump Towers Istanbul commercial and residential complex was developed by Dogan and Donald Trump
By Akin Nazli in Belgrade February 27, 2017

The share price of Turkey's Dogan Holding (DOHOL) fell by as much as 5% d/d on February 27 on news that Turkish prosecutors were probing a news article published by the conglomerate's flagship daily Hurriyet on February 24.

The item was headlined “Discomfort within Army HQ”. It looked at military annoyance over seven issues, including not being consulted over the recent move to allow women in service to wear the Islamic headscarf. With the country still under a state of emergency, media that back President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted strongly to the piece, mainly due to the headline. It was reminiscent of the times when the Turkish army regularly intervened in Turkish politics by raising concerns in the media over political issues.

Dogan is one of Turkey’s largest business groups, with interests in media, energy and retail. As well as owning Hurriyet - one of the country’s most influential newspapers - it owns popular TV channels CNN Turk and Kanal D.

Dogan Holding was penalised with a tax fine of TRY4.9bn (€1.3bn) in 2009. The conglomerate went on to sell two of its newspapers, Milliyet and Vatan, in 2011. Dogan is also known as a business partner of US President Donald Trump. They together developed the conjoined Trump Towers Istanbul, a commercial and residential complex in the capital's central business district.

At around 14:00 local time on February 27, shares in Hurriyet were down 6% d/d while Dogan Gazeticilik had lost 8%. The main stock exchange index, the BIST-100, was also down, but by a relatively limited 0.38% d/d.

Last month, Dogan’s shares were also hit by news that Turkish police had detained the company’s former CEO Yahya Uzdiyen and its chief legal advisor Erem Tugrul Yucel as part of an investigation into supporters of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of being behind last year's failed coup. However, Dogan companies gained some ground on the stock exchange later in January after a Turkish court on January 13 released Uzdiyen and Yucel.

Earlier this month, Soner Gedikli, Uzdiyen’s successor in Dogan Holding, resigned. Dogan Holding announced on February 20 that it had appointed Yagmur Satana as the new CEO.

Barbaros Muratoglu, the Ankara representative of Dogan Holding, was detained last month over a suspected link to the Gulenist network.

Dogan Holding Financials (Consolidated) 
(mn TRY) end-14 end-15
Total Assets 6,877 7,441 8%
Total Shareholders' Equity 2,910 3,042 5%
(mn TRY) 2014 2015  (y/y)
Revenues 3,543 5,951 68%
Gross Margin 790 1,027 30%
Operating Income 39 260 560%
Net Income -225 -161 -29%
source: kap