Friday, 21 September, 2018

Turkey stuns market with massive interest rate hike

DXY Index Sideways Grind Continues ahead of BOE ECB Tomorrow Erdogan appoints himself chairman of Turkey's sovereign wealth fund
Rhonda Young | 14 September, 2018, 04:12

The logo of Turkey's Central Bank sits at the entrance of its headquarters in the capital, Ankara.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed himself chairman of Turkey's sovereign wealth fund and got rid of the entire management staff that had presided over two years of inaction.

"It nearly seems like it's a game of "good cop, bad cop" being played out between the Turkish authorities - with President Erdogan on the one hand still making statements regarding his dislike of interest rates and. a very sizeable reaction from the central bank in response to the recent inflationary and geopolitical developments", she said.

Before today's interest rate decision, Mr Erdogan announced he was banning the use of foreign currencies in property sales, rental contracts and leasing transactions and ruled all such transactions must now be made in lira.

Despite the comments, Erdogan added: "There has been no change in my sensitivities on the issue of interest rates".

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Erdogan is known for strongman tactics, including the jailing of tens of thousands of people after a failed coup attempt in 2016.

The decision by Turkey's central bank on Thursday to sharply raise interest rates was just the latest sign of how unsettled emerging markets have become.

The lira reacted strongly to the decision, rising by five per cent in value to 6.0 lira to the U.S. dollar.

The Turkish lira began to recover shortly after the rate hike, strengthening by 3% to 6.16 against the dollar. "I'm saying let's cut these high interest rates". "Every business in this country needs to be priced, discussed and carried out with our own currency".

"The crucial thing is to restore the confidence of worldwide investors that their policies are on the right track", global economist Eswar Prasad said earlier this month.

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The lira had weakened earlier on Thursday before the central bank decision as Erdogan's fierce criticism of the central bank and high interest raised doubts in investors' minds about how much the bank might tighten policy.

On Thursday, the Turkish Central Bank exercised that independence - and appeared to reassure investors in the process.

The Turkish lira has lost more than 75% of its value against the dollar since January, pushing up the cost of a wide variety of goods.

One of Erdogan's advisors mainly known for his outlandish statements, Yigit Bulut, was removed from the board, while new members included Rifat Hisarciklioglu, the president of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB). Shortly after his election win this past summer, he installed his like-minded son-in-law as the country's finance minister.

Erdogan again described interest rates as a "tool of exploitation" but vowed that "we can not be taken advantage of".

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He has also scored more worldwide goals than both Messi and Ronaldo with nine strikes for Les Bleus in 24 games. He is closely followed by Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski on 90, before the list jumps down into the 80s.

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