Asian stock markets recover from the escalating financial crisis in Turkey

Roman Schwartz
August 15, 2018

The United States imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers over the trial on terrorism charges of USA evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey, and last week Washington raised tariffs on Turkish metal exports.

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak speaks during a presentation to announce his economic policy in Istanbul, Turkey on August 10, 2018.

"We expect a $32bn foreign currency inflow", Firuz Baglikaya, head of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, told the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Turkey asked the U.S. to get a prisoner out of Israeli jail, which the United States did the next day, according to The Guardian. "We will protect our Turkish Lira", Albayrak said at a symposium in Ankara marking the anniversary of the ruling party's foundation on August 14.

"The dollar's appreciation this year is concerning in the sense that it can lead to a vicious cycle by making it harder for borrowers to service USD-denominated debt, reinforcing default risks and hence leading to more capital outflows from emerging markets", senior economist Krishen Rangasamy wrote.

Analysts say the crisis has been a long time coming and reflects Turkey's refusal to raise interest rates to curb double-digit inflation and cool an overheated economy. Trump's top national security aide warned Turkey's ambassador on Monday that the US has nothing further to negotiate until Brunson is freed, according to two people familiar with the matter.

He and his lawyers have denied those allegations, and the USA has said the charges aren't credible.

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The Turkish Central Bank has attempted to shore up the lira by promising to provide the necessary liquidity to banks and to maintain financial stability.

Turkey's Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has said Ankara will continue taking steps within the rules of the free market. He faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted, with his next trial date set for October. "His rhetoric reflects a desire to support Turkish electronics businesses like Vestel".

While Erdogan didn't address their concerns in his speech, he said Turks have already begun converting foreign exchange into Turkish lira because it would be tantamount to "surrendering" if they did otherwise.

He said Russian Federation and Turkey have set a goal to switch from dollars to national currencies in mutual trade. Erdogan accused the United States of conspiring against Turkey and said that the slide in its currency doesn't make any sense logically.

"We view the policy of sanctions as unlawful and illegitimate, driven mostly by a desire to dominate everywhere and in everything, dictate policies and call shots in worldwide affairs", Lavrov said. The country's local currency, the lira, has since plummeted in value.

The owner of a store that sells goods for brides-to-be said the lira's devaluation against foreign currencies has affected his ability to import goods. Rao added that these days, supply chains are just too connected to one another to effectively boycott one country's products.

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