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

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.


Saudi energy giant to invest $3bn in Bangladesh’s power sector

Updated 22 October 2019

Saudi energy giant to invest $3bn in Bangladesh’s power sector

  • Experts say deal will usher in more economic and development opportunities for the country

DHAKA: Saudi Arabia’s energy giant, ACWA power, will set up an LNG-based 3,600 MW plant in Bangladesh after an agreement was signed in Dhaka on Thursday.

The MoU was signed by ACWA Chairman Mohammed Abunayyan and officials from the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), officials told Arab News on Monday.

According to the agreement, ACWA will invest $3 billion in Bangladesh’s energy development sector, of which $2.5 billion will be used to build the power plant while the rest will be spent on an LNG terminal to facilitate fuel supply to the plant. Under the deal, ACWA will also set up a 2 MW solar power plant.

In recent months, both countries have engaged in a series of discussions for investment opportunities in Bangladesh’s industry and energy sectors. 

During the Saudi-Bangladesh investment cooperation meeting in March this year, Dhaka proposed a $35 billion investment plan to a high-powered Saudi delegation led by Majed bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, the Saudi commerce and investment minister, and Mohammed bin Mezyed Al-Tuwaijri, the Saudi economy and planning minister.

However, officials in Dhaka said that this was the first investment deal to be signed between the two countries.

“We have just inked the MoU for building the LNG-based power plant. Now, ACWA will conduct a feasibility study regarding the location of the plant, which is expected to be completed in the next six months,” Khaled Mahmood, chairman of BPDB, told Arab News.

He added that there are several locations in Moheshkhali, Chottogram and the Mongla port area for the proposed power plant.

“We need to find a suitable location where the drift of the river will be suitable for establishing the LNG plant and we need to also consider the suitability of establishing the transmission lines,” Mahmood said.

“It will be either a JV (Joint Venture) or an IPP (Independent Power Producer) mode of investment, which is yet to be determined. But, we are expecting that in next year the investment will start coming here,” Mahmood said.

BPDB expects to complete the set-up process of the power plant within 36 to 42 months.

“We are in close contact with ACWA and focusing on the successful completion of the project within the shortest possible time,” he said.

Abunayyan said that he was optimistic about the new investment deal.

“Bangladesh has been a model for the Muslim world in economic progress. This is our beginning, and our journey and our relationship will last for a long time,” Abunayyan told a gathering after the MoU signing ceremony.

Economists and experts in Bangladesh also welcomed the ACWA investment in the energy development sector.

“This sort of huge and long-term capital investment will create a lot of employment opportunities. On the other hand, it will facilitate other trade negotiations with the Middle Eastern countries, too,” Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, senior research fellow at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), told Arab News.

She added that Bangladesh needs to weigh the pros and cons before finalizing such contracts so that the country can earn the “maximum benefits” from the investment.

“It will also expedite other big investments in Bangladesh from different countries,” she said.

Another energy economist, Dr. Asadujjaman, said that Bangladesh needs to exercise caution while conducting the feasibility study for such a huge investment.

“We need to address the environmental aspects, opportunity costs and other economic perspectives while working with this type of big investment. Considering the present situation, the country also needs to focus on producing more solar energy,” Dr. Asadujjaman told Arab News.