Turkish Central Bank measures calmed markets, IMF chief Lagarde says
by Daily Sabah with Wires
ISTANBULJul 20, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah with Wires
Jul 20, 2016 12:00 am
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde, interviewed by Bloomberg on Monday, said that swift action by Turkey's central bank and other agencies had successfully calmed financial markets following the attempted coup on Friday.
Turkey witnessed a failed coup attempt on Friday by military officers loyal to the U.S.-based, fugitive imam, Fethullah Güle,n to unseat President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which caused 208 deaths and left 1,491 injured.
"Over the weekend, all of us were on alert, monitoring the situation, wondering if they would take the right measures," Lagarde said. She added that Turkish financial authorities including the nation's central bank "all reacted very strongly, in a concerted way, in order to make sure that there would be liquidity available, that the banks would function."
Market reaction to the attempted coup has been moderate, with the Turkish lira not getting hit as much as expected. The dollar surged 5 percent to reach TL 3.0157 on Friday night, during the coup attempt by a faction within the military. The lira was trading at TL 2.9274 to the dollar on Monday morning, regaining the level before the coup attempt, and calming investor concerns about geopolitical risks. In line with the developments in the dollar, the Borsa Istanbul (BIST) 100 index started the week, showing a 5 percent loss.
Regarding the issue, Lagarde said: "In the main, there was an orderly functioning of the markets after something that was massively disorderly."
With the aim of diminishing investor concern, Turkish policy makers said on Sunday that they will provide unlimited liquidity to banks and would support the lira by removing limits on foreign currency deposits that commercial lenders are allowed to use as collateral.
To achieve this, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) announced measures on Sunday, including a cut on the commission on daily liquidity options for banks to zero, and providing unlimited liquidity to banks to maintain effective operation of financial markets. CBRT said in a statement it would take all necessary measures to protect financial stability, and that all central bank markets and systems will stay open until transactions are complete. If needed, CBRT will increase the current $50 billion limit on foreign deposits.
CBRT further said that all markets and systems operating under the central bank would stay open until all necessary transactions are completed. Market depth and pricing will be closely followed and more precautions will be taken as necessary to ensure financial stability.