Erdogan vows action against 'economic terrorists' over lira plunge

14 August, 2018, 17:09 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • Britain’s FTSE dips as Turkey’s lira crisis shakes world markets

He insisted that Turkey's economic dynamic remain strong and said the Turkish currency would soon settle "at the most reasonable level".

Financial markets are now waiting to see what Turkey does next, after a raft of measures unveiled Monday did little to stem the tide.

Mr Erdogan told a news conference in the Turkish capital, Ankara: "You act on one side as a strategic partner, but on the other, you fire bullets into the foot of your strategic partner". The South African rand lost more than 10 percent today, recovering slighty to 14.51 to the dollar, while the Indian rupee hit an all-time low of 69.62 to the dollar before recovering to 69.695 right after the Turkish Central Bank said it would provide liquidity.

The dispute centres on Turkey's refusal to release United States pastor Andrew Brunson.

Brunson was charged with committing crimes, including spying for the PKK - listed as a terrorist group by both the USA and Turkey - and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup attempt of July 2016.

Turkey's Capital Markets Board (SPK) and financial crime board have also said they would take legal steps against those who spread misinformation about financial institutions and firms, or reports that the government would seize foreign-currency deposits.

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"U.S. banks' total claims on Turkey amounted to just $38 [billion] at the end of March this year, not much more than claims on Finland", Pantheon's chief economist, Ian Shepherdson, wrote in a note. In our country, we have Venus and Vestel.

He has threatened to seek new alliances - a veiled hint at closer ties with Russian Federation - and warned of drastic measures if businesses withdraw foreign currency from banks.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation uses the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to fight against IS and there has been some domestic pressure on Mr Erdogan to close it.

"We will boycott United States electronic goods", Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara, again showing no sign of compromise in the dispute. That helped Turkey's economy, which grew at 7 percent previous year.

It has been a concern that the lira will affect European banks, mainly Spanish and French, because of the exposure of major European lenders to Turkish debt.

Following Erdoğan's speech, the shares of Turkish electronics producer Vestel trading in Borsa Istanbul (BIST) increased by as much as 7 percent amid an overall surge in benchmark BIST-100 Index by 1.1 percent.

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Higher US rates make the dollar more attractive to hold, offering investors an extra incentive to switch out of risky emerging country assets.

The bank also revised reserve requirement ratios for banks, in a move also aimed at staving off any liquidity issues.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5 percent to 2,771.81 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.9 percent to 27,686.99. Even more, Trump's direct reference to the Turkish lira sent the currency tumbling. Argentina's central bank unexpectedly raised interest rates by 5 percentage points on Monday.

At issue is the Central Bank's refusal to raise interest rates in order to tackle double-digit inflation, with Erdogan believing that interest rates are the number one killer of the economy.

It is not clear if this comes after Mr Erdogan's pressure.

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