Turkey cbank tries 'fringe tools' to stem lira’s slide
Turkey's central bank lowered the cost of dollar borrowing for a fourth time this year, seeking to halt the lira's slide after the breakdown of talks on the formation of a new government sent financial markets tumbling. The rate for commercial banks' dollar borrowings was lowered to 2.75 percent from 3 percent, the central bank said Friday.
The currency slumped to a record low after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's chief adviser said the lira is "competitive" at 3 per dollar, or about 6 percent weaker than Friday's opening price. Governor Erdem Basci is set to announce the monthly decision for benchmark interest rates next Tuesday. Investor sentiment toward Turkey has soured since the ruling AK Party lost its parliamentary majority in June, and a fragile three-year truce with autonomy-seeking Kurdish militants collapsed last month. The central bank's move won't be enough to support the lira against that backdrop, said analysts including Yeliz Karabulut, a vice general manager at Alan Menkul Degerler AS in Istanbul.
"These are fringe tools that the central bank is playing with and the market won't take any notice," Karabulut said by phone. "There's an uncertain period ahead of us until Turkey holds repeat elections, and it will be a period of continued lira weakness."
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who's also head of the governing AK Party, said on Thursday that negotiations with the main opposition CHP to form a government had failed. Opinion polls show that a fresh election might not deliver the mandate Davutoglu is seeking for the AKP, potentially returning the country to the same political impasse of the past two months.
Davutoglu said parliament should quickly agree to a new poll to limit damage to the economy. Lawmakers should ignore the Aug. 23 deadline for forming a government based on the results of the June election, he said. The lira traded 0.4 percent lower at 2.8325 per dollar at 12:08 p.m. in Istanbul after earlier falling as much as 0.9 percent. Bonds also fell.