Turkish finance minister says he will not fight markets

The Turkish lira has been hammered this year, losing a fifth of its value against the US dollar. (Reuters)
Updated 23 July 2018
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Turkish finance minister says he will not fight markets

  • Turkey’s economy continues its strong growth momentum

ANKARA: Turkey will not fight with markets but instead pursue a win-win relationship with them while ensuring Turkey has an effective central bank, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak was quoted as saying on Sunday.
Concerns about the central bank’s independence had intensified when President Tayyip Erdogan appointed son-in-law Albayrak as treasury and finance minister, boosting expectations that the president — a self-described “enemy of interest rates” — would look to exercise greater influence over monetary policy.
The Turkish lira has been hammered this year, losing a fifth of its value against the US dollar, on concerns about the central bank’s ability to rein in double-digit inflation, while Erdogan has repeatedly called for lower interest rates.
Albayrak, speaking to reporters on a flight to Argentina for a G20 summit, also said the government would not compromise budget discipline and that there would be a noticeable improvement in inflation, broadcaster NTV reported.
“We will not compromise budget discipline and a program that is down to earth will be prepared,” Albayrak was quoted as saying.
“We aim for an effective central bank. The central bank sees and builds the fiscal life in a correct way. Turkey will never again be this attractive for foreign investors.”
The government’s medium-term program (OVP) will also change into a “strong and solid” five-year strategy, Albayrak said.
With Erdogan having merged the Treasury and the Finance Ministry, Albayrak’s appointment effectively saw him replace both Mehmet Simsek and Naci Agbal in a cabinet that now has no obvious investor-friendly ministers.
Albayrak’s comments, therefore, are closely watched by investors for clues on whether he will seek to calm financial markets by adopting a more orthodox approach to monetary policy or reiterate Erdogan’s views that high interest rates stoke inflation.
Following his appointment, Albayrak had said the central bank is independent and will do whatever economic realities and market conditions necessitate.
Earlier on Sunday, state media quoted Albayrak as saying that Turkey was continuing its strong economic growth trend and that the foundations of its economy were strong.
The state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Albayrak as saying that the government aimed to maintain prudent fiscal policies and healthy credit growth, carrying out structural reforms and strengthening Turkey’s monetary policy framework.
“Turkey’s economy continues its strong growth momentum. Our economic foundations are going to be strong and our outlook is promising,” Albayrak said.
The central bank’s monetary policy committee, which has raised rates by 500 basis points since April in an effort to put a floor under the currency, will meet on July 24.
On the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Albayrak said on Twitter that he had met with his US, Chinese, German, Brazilian, South Korean, French and Indonesian
counterparts.


Apple China says it will push software update in bid to resolve Qualcomm case

Updated 14 December 2018
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Apple China says it will push software update in bid to resolve Qualcomm case

  • Apple will carry out the software updates at the start of next week to address the concern
  • A court found Apple infringed two patents held by the chipmaker and banned sales of older iPhone models

SHANGHAI/SAN FRANCISCO: Apple Inc. , facing a court ban in China on some of its iPhone models over alleged infringement of Qualcomm Inc. patents, said on Friday it will push software updates to users in a bid to resolve potential issues.
Apple will carry out the software updates at the start of next week “to address any possible concern about our compliance with the order,” the firm said in a statement sent to Reuters.
Earlier this week, Qualcomm said a Chinese court had ordered a ban on sales of some older Apple iPhone models for violating two of its patents, though intellectual property lawyers said the ban would still likely take time to enforce.
“Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance,” Apple said.
“Early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case.”
The case, brought by Qualcomm, is part of a global patent dispute between the two US companies that includes dozens of lawsuits. It creates uncertainty over Apple’s business in one of its biggest markets at a time when concerns over waning demand for new iPhones are battering its shares.
Qualcomm has said that the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China found Apple infringed two patents held by the chipmaker and ordered an immediate ban on sales of older iPhone models, from the 6S through the X.
Apple has said that all of its phone models remained on sale in mainland China and that it had filed a request for reconsideration with the court. All the models appeared to be available to buy on Apple’s China website on Friday.
Qualcomm, the biggest supplier of chips for mobile phones, filed its case in China in late 2017, arguing that Apple infringed patents on features related to resizing photographs and managing apps on a touch screen.