Borsa Istanbul shows confidence in Turkish lira

26 May, 2018, 01:04 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • Turkey ETF Bounces After Steep Selling

The bank's move came after the U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate hit a historic high on Wednesday, climbing to around 4.93.

While a central bank is in theory independent from the government, Erdogan has put pressure on it to not raise rates as he prepares for early presidential and parliamentary elections next month.

The central bank made an unscheduled announcement to increase its top interest rate to 16.5 per cent from 13.5 per cent to help stabilise the lira, which has fallen about 20 per cent this year to a series of record lows.

"Accordingly, the committee chose to implement a strong monetary tightening to support price stability", it added, according to BBC.

The Turkish Lira has slid to a fresh historic low of 4.66 against the dollar following a statement from the credit rating agency Fitch on May 22.

"Turkey's economy grew 7.4 percent past year and is still maintaining a growth trend at this level".

Turkey has means to curtail the currency fluctuations in the short term, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

"A tight stance in monetary policy will be maintained decisively until the inflation outlook displays a significant improvement", it added. "The Central Bank will continue to use all available instruments in pursuit of the price stability objective".

The lira's long period of decline has been attributed to the Turkish central bank's refusal or inability to hike interest rates as much as economists believe is necessary to strengthen the currency, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The sharp fall in the currency's value has come at a hugely sensitive time as Turkey heads to June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections where Erdogan is seeking a new mandate and a thumping parliamentary majority.

Its performance has been even worse than the Argentine peso which has also suffered severe turbulence over the last month.

"They will not allow them or give an opportunity", he said.

The last time the central bank raised interest rates at an emergency meeting was in January 2014, in an attempt to stop a similar selloff.

"I think markets are beginning to take fright at the extent of government interference over certainly central bank policy", he said.

The move came after USA dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate saw a historic high, climbing over 4.7500 at Wednesday's market opening.

The Istanbul bourse said it was taking measures to convert its foreign exchange assets to lira to "fight speculative actions aimed at creating a negative image of Turkey", but it was unclear if this would have any impact on the currency.

Many investors want to see a rise in interest rates to bring down inflation, which is in double figures.

Emerging markets' local currencies have been weakening against the USA dollar since the beginning of this year. "But the relief has often proved short-lived", he said.



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