Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Turkish MPs approve 'anti-terror' law to replace state of emergency

Lira plunges Turkey working on development of new system of military service
Ellis Copeland | 26 July, 2018, 23:46

The law will be forwarded to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his formal approval and will be published later in the official gazette.

In the bank's first monetary-policy decision since Erdogan consolidated his political power in a snap election, policymakers held rates steady, defying the market expectation of a rate hike.

"This decision essentially confirms the markets' worst fears about the central bank's independence and the future course of economic policies in Turkey", said Inan Demir, an economist at Nomura International in London. Erdogan pledged during the campaign to exercise greater control over monetary policy, sending the lira to fresh lows.

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 17.75%, shocking economists surveyed by Bloomberg who were anticipating a 100 basis point hike.

Turkey's central bank has been hiking rates sharply in recent months in an effort to stem its sliding currency.

At the inauguration of a new Turkish Embassy building in South Africa's capital Pretoria, Erdogan warned the country of the threat of FETO as South Africa is one of the countries where the group is most active. He is a self-proclaimed "enemy" of interest rates, and said in May that if he won reelection he would take more responsibility for Turkey's economy.

The lira fell as much as 4.2 per cent to 4.9384 to the dollar.

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"We have seen constantly worsening inflation dynamics and in that situation you would have expected the central bank to act", Koblb said.

Albayrak tweeted a statement Tuesday that said a new economic plan - yet to be announced- will curb inflation, which is at a high annual rate of 15.4 percent.

It would also raise alarm over the bank's "ability and willingness to tackle high inflation", he said, warning that a sell-off in the lira would inevitably follow and "ultimately force the (bank) into an emergency rate hike further down the line".

This period can be extended on two occasions under special circumstances.

Foreign lenders, which are vital to Turkey's import-driven economy, are growing increasingly concerned about the $337 billion of non-lira debt that domestic companies hold.

The divide between growth and inflation is at the heart of investor concerns about Turkey.

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