South Korea made a transfer worth $780 million (around TL 14.5 billion) to Türkiye’s central bank last week, a portion of the $2 billion agreed on under a swap deal signed in 2021, two bankers said.
The total amount transferred to Türkiye from South Korea under the deal is now worth almost $1 billion, bankers told Reuters, citing calculations based on the central bank’s balance sheet and reserves data.
The Central Bank of the Republic of Türkiye (CBRT) did not comment on the issue.
The central bank has swap deals in local currencies with several of its counterparts worth a total of $28 billion. It signed a deal with China for $6 billion, with Qatar for $15 billion and with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for around $5 billion.
The swap deals encourage trade in local currencies and boost the central bank’s gross reserves.
The Turkish central bank’s net foreign exchange reserves stood at $9.72 billion as of Sept. 30, data showed on Thursday, up from a 20-year low of $6.07 billion it touched in July.
The bank has built up its reserves through swap deals and more recently through newly opened depo accounts in dollars or euros. During periods when reserves rose, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said “friendly countries are supporting” the central bank.
Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR has a depo account worth 1 billion euros ($980,000) at the Turkish central bank, while another central bank, the name of which has not been disclosed, has an account worth almost $2 billion.
Bankers say inflows to local banks of some $5 billion from Russia’s Rosatom to construct a nuclear plant in Türkiye boosted the central bank’s reserves in the summer by around $6.1 billion.
Markets are watching to see whether Rosatom will make other transfers for constructing the plant, expected to be worth $20 billion.