Turkey central bank surprises markets with big rate hike

Share

Turkey central bank surprises markets with big rate hike

The magnitude of the hike was all the more surprising given that just before the decision Erdogan had slammed interest rates as a "tool of exploitation".

The central bank surprised investors by not raising rates when it last met in July.

Its monetary committee made a decision to "implement strong monetary tightening to support price stability", it said on Thursday, as it raised interest rates by 625 basis points in the face of a spike in inflation and a slump in the lira.

He also decreed that local property sales, rental contracts and leasing transactions could no longer be conducted in foreign currency, in a fresh bid to buttress the flagging lira.

It said the policy would be "maintained decisively until inflation outlook displays a significant improvement".

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com said: "This was a definite statement from policymakers, but the risk now is that the market tries to test the central bank's resolve: the horse may have already bolted".

"Deterioration in the pricing behaviour continues to pose upside risks on the inflation outlook, despite weaker domestic demand conditions", the bank added.

The bank´s intervention was the latest aggressive rate hike to calm economic turbulence in an emerging market after the Argentinian central bank´s recent hike from 45 to 60 percent on August 30.

"Hemati told the media a meeting with the administrators of the Turkish and Russian Central Banks is expected in the near future and he hopes the agreed topics would rapidly come into effect", the Turkish agency said.

The rate hit the lowest level in two weeks.

"The Governing Council expects the key European Central Bank interest rates to remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019, and in any case for as long as necessary", it said, repeating its guidance. "If you say ´inflation is the cause, the rate is the result´, you do not know this business, friend", he added.

Erdogan a year ago said the fund needed a "reorganisation" after the first chairman Mehmet Bostan was removed from his post in September 2017.

The bank later said funding would be provided via the policy rate, the one week repo auction rate, instead of through overnight lending from September 14.

He's delivered on that pledge, ousting the old guard of policy makers who'd guided the economy since 2002 and giving himself the sole authority to make appointments at the central bank and other state organizations.

He said Turkey also needed to resolve a dispute with the United States, which helped drive the lira to a record low of 7.24 against the dollar a month ago, and rebalance the economy away from big infrastructure projects and consumer spending.

A growing crisis became acute earlier this year following the detention of an American pastor on espionage and terror-related charges, which prompted Donal Trump to double the import tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium.

Share

Advertisement

© 2015 Leader Call. All Rights reserved.