Turkish lira expected to pick up the pace: JPMorgan

Turkish lira expected to pick up the pace: JPMorgan

The Turkish lira will begin to "pick up the pace," showing a stronger performance in the short term, a report by investment bank JPMorgan said yesterday. "Political pressure on the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey to cut rates seems to be easing," the report said. The JPMorgan analysts also forecast that the central bank will not cut one of its key interest rates, which bankers refer to as the "Corridor." "Our view remains that the CBRT will refrain from cutting the upper band of the corridor; both should be supportive of the Turkish lira in the short run," the report said.

"We see potential for the lira's recent underperformance to reverse. Market concerns on the currency, in part due to the political pressure exerted on the CBRT to ease monetary policy, seems to be receding given the more supportive comments extended to the central bank from Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan in recent days," the report said.

"President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan's economic adviser, among others, also suggested that a rate between 2.30 to 2.50 to the dollar is acceptable. This implies that a rate above 2.50 would be problematic, even for the government, due to concerns over potential household dollarization and corporate hedging of dollar liabilities. This further supports our house view that the CBRT will not cut the upper band of the interest rate corridor in their policy," the report said.

The Turkish lira has climbed as high as a record 2.50 to the dollar after hints from the central bank about interest rate cuts caused a run on the currency. There is still concern among many economists about the lira's losing value should the U.S. Federal Reserve raise interest rates on the dollar. The central bank will hold a monetary policy meeting on Feb. 24 to discuss interest rate cuts.

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