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Turkish Central bank cannot sell lira at discount: Economy Minister

The central bank of Turkey cannot sell Turkish lira to businesses at a discount, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Friday.

On Thursday, Ibrahim Caglar, head of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, pointed out that the private sector’s debts in foreign currencies have increased in value due to the devaluation of the lira. He called on Turkey’s central bank to sell lira to businesses at the discounted rate of 2.7 lira to the dollar — the dollar is currently trading at about 3.04 to the dollar.

Speaking to reporters at the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Zeybekci said that the proposal was “not feasible.”

The Turkish lira has lost more than 25 percent of its value against the dollar this year.

On Thursday, the currency fell to a historic low of 3.061 against the dollar as pressure on emerging market currencies from an expected interest rate hike by Federal Reserve is growing. The next interest rate decision by the Fed will be on Sept. 16.

Zeybekci acknowledged that the devaluation of the lira places an extra burden on the Turkish private sector, which is heavily dependent on foreign funds.

Caglar said at the monthly meeting of the chamber augmentin 500 mg, that the Turkish manufacturing sector’s short-term debt has reached $35 billion.
“With sharp losses in the Turkish lira’s value, this debt has increased by $5.7 billion (17.5 billion liras) within the year. Companies made their loan calculation with the Turkish Lira at 2.5 to the dollar, but one dollar is now worth more than 3 lira.”

The sale of the lira to business at 2.7 to the dollar would cost just around $3.5 billion to the state, as the cost would equal the yearly profit of the central bank,” Caglar said. “Instead of transferring its profit to the Treasury, the Central Bank can use this amount to fuel the manufacturing sector.”

But minister Zeybekci who is responsible for the country’s foreign trade, said that selling the dollar to companies at a low rate would constitute interference with the market for foreign exchange.

“We should not intervene in the decline of the lira against dollar. Eventually, the market will determine the value of Turkish lira,” Zeybekci said.
Zeybekci also said that there is no problem for companies whose income and debt are in dollars. “But there is a problem for companies whose income is denominated in Turkish lira, while they have borrowed heavily in dollars,” he added.

The Turkish private sector’s foreign debt rose by $12.5 billion in year-on-year terms to $277.4 billion since March 2014, the Turkish Treasury reported on June 30. Private-sector foreign debt constituted 71 percent of total foreign debt, the report said.

The private sector’s short-term foreign debt, – the debt that must be paid in the next 12 months – also increased by $5 billion to $111.1 billion over the same period.

Source: Daily Sabah

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