The net reserves of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) rose towards $20 billion last week, according to four bankers' calculations based on preliminary data, with forecasts ranging between increases of $2.5 to $4 billion.
The central bank's net international reserves slipped to $15.82 billion on Feb. 11 from $16.33 billion a week earlier, data showed last week.
The foreign exchange reserves declined in recent years, most recently due to the market interventions by the central bank to stem a currency slide in December.
Bankers and economists estimate the lender spent $20 billion in December and $3 billion in January supporting the lira.
Reserves hit their lowest level since 2002 in mid-January before recovering after measures to bring in foreign currency and the introduction of swap agreements with foreign countries.
"We calculate that net reserves rose $3 billion last week, while total reserves fell $500 million," one trader said.
A scheme was also launched in December to protect lira deposits from depreciation.
The lira declined 44% against the United States dollar last year after the central bank pushed through 500 basis points of interest rate cuts from September.
Forex market interventions and the lira protection scheme bolstered the lira after it hit a record low of 18.4 last year, helping it maintain a steady course in 2022.
It faced pressure on Tuesday due to the Ukraine crisis.
The reserves data is being followed closely by markets to understand whether the stable lira trend will continue.
Meanwhile, forex sales to Turkey's state economic enterprises – primarily Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) – hit a record $4.15 billion in January, bringing the total in the last three months to $9.7 billion.
The weekly central bank data on forex reserves will be announced at 11:30 a.m. GMT on Thursday.