The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) on Wednesday raised forex-lira swap market transaction limits to 30% of foreign exchange market transaction limits from 20% previously.
The move came as a relaxing step for banks to make swap agreements abroad. The limit increase, which came after the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) imposed limits on swaps abroad, would amount to a volume of some $5 billion of such transactions, two banking officials told Reuters.
Turkey’s banking watchdog said last week it was slashing the limit for banks’ foreign exchange swap, forward and options transactions with foreign entities from 10% to 1% of a bank’s equity.
In a statement, BDDK said it made the amendment to support measures taken to protect financial stability and manage risks raised by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
With new travel restrictions in place and millions of people around the world under lockdown, the pandemic has spurred market uncertainties, sending stocks plunging and pushing unemployment figures to record highs.
The BDDK also said it is reducing the amount of lira sell-side foreign exchange swaps, forwards and other derivatives made with nonresidents with a maturity of seven days to 1% of the banks’ equity. Those with a maturity of 30 days were reduced to 2% of the banks’ equity.
CBRT Governor Murat Uysal earlier said the bank was holding talks with central banks on new swap agreements amid the pandemic. He said the bank is in contact with other central banks regarding new swap agreements as well as strengthening the existing business alliance and closely monitoring the global economic situation to mitigate the coronavirus’ negative impacts on the Turkish economy.
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