Turkey central bank ready to take ‘all necessary measures’ for stability

The lira has lost around 45 percent of its value against the US currency this year, largely over worries about President Tayyip Erdogan’s influence over the Turkish economy. (Reuters)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Turkey central bank ready to take ‘all necessary measures’ for stability

  • The lira has lost around 45 percent of its value against the US currency this year, largely over worries about President Tayyip Erdogan’s influence over the economy
  • Turkey’s banking watchdog BBDK in a statement said it was limiting banks’ foreign exchange swap transactions

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s central bank on Monday announced it was ready to take “all necessary measures” to ensure financial stability after the collapse of the lira, promising to provide banks with liquidity.

“The central bank will closely monitor the market depth and price formations, and take all necessary measures to maintain financial stability, if deemed necessary,” the bank said in a statement, vowing to provide “all the liquidity the banks need.”

The statement came after the Turkish lira hit record lows against the dollar amid a widening diplomatic spat with the United States.

The detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson since October 2016 on terrorism charges has sparked the most severe crisis in ties between the two NATO allies in years.

The central bank announced the series of measures on Monday, a day after Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak, who is treasury and finance minister, announced an action plan was in the pipeline.

“In the framework of intraday and overnight standing facilities, the Central Bank will provide all the liquidity the banks need,” the bank said.

The bank also revised reserve requirement ratios for banks, in a move also aimed at staving off any liquidity issues.

It said with the latest revision, approximately 10 billion lira, $6 billion, and $3 billion equivalent of gold liquidity will be provided to the financial system.

The nominally independent central bank has defied pressure to hike interest rates which economists said would curb the fall of the lira.

Erdogan on Saturday called interest rates as “tool of exploitation” that makes the poor poorer and the rich richer.


IDEX 2019: UAE armed forces sign new defense deals

Updated 19 February 2019
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IDEX 2019: UAE armed forces sign new defense deals

  • Falcon was developed in response to the UAE’s request to replace the Hawk Air Defense System

ABU DHABI: The UAE armed forces has signed $1.17 million worth of defense contracts with local companies and $514.8 million with international companies, military spokesperson Brigadier General Mohammed Al-Hassani said on Tuesday.

The Emirates on Monday also awarded Raytheon a $1.55 billion contract to supply its air force with platform systems to launch missiles.

The agreement was signed at the week-long IDEX military exhibition in Abu Dhabi and followed the award on Sunday of a 1.3 billion-dirham contract to Raytheon to supply the UAE with patriot missiles.

The UAE armed forces signed a total of 7.2 billion dirhams in contracts on Monday, including 5.8 billion dirhams with international companies, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Al-Hassani said, speaking through a translator.

The UAE has signed a total of 12 billion dirhams in contracts since the IDEX exhibition started on Sunday, he said.

Lockheed Martin, Germany’s Diehl Defense, and Sweden’s Saab on Monday launched at IDEX the Falcon air defense weapon system, billed as a replacement to the Hawk system used by countries in the Middle East.

Falcon was developed in response to a UAE request for a replacement for the Hawk system and talks are underway to sell it to the Gulf state, Scott Arnold, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and deputy head of Integrated Air and Missile Defense said.

Weapons sales to the UAE have come under scrutiny over the past year due to the country’s involvement in the Yemen war that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are leading a military coalition, which includes local forces drawn from Yemeni factions, that is trying to restore the internationally recognized government ousted from power in 2014 by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement.