Turkey Country Report Dec20 - December, 2020

December 4, 2020

Winter has come and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Erdogan turned sharply: End of Cold Turkey: How long will the latest hot money party last? Lira showed sharpest weekly advance since 1994 as “market pursues volatility”.

Erdogan hiked his main policy rate to 15%. He will cut the rate “as soon as possible” (See Section 4.2). The banking watchdog will scrap the asset ratio for banks at end-2020. The central bank dropped the reserve mechanism that pushed banks to loan growth.

Erdogan’s readying for “charm offensive” and will “become whatever Biden wants him to be”. The US establishment is also welcoming Erdogan’s change of tempo, amounting to vivace moves.

Istanbul mayor called for lockdown to address “out of control” rise in coronavirus cases. Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on October 31 confirmed in a tweet that he has reached the final stage of a coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment.

USD/TRY latest record: 8.5876 on November 6. Erdogan fired the central bank governor, again… Finance minister resigned the day after the central bank governor was fired.

Shall we assume that no-one will attempt a coup this time?

Unrest within Turkey’s governing coalition is becoming apparent with attempts to export intra-coalition rows behind the curtain to target the opposition: Mafia boss affiliated to junior coalition partner Devlet Bahceli openly threatened main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

New finance minister and central bank governor, who have innate Erdogan moustaches, are sold as “orthodox”. Erdogan was sold as a “democrat” from 2002 to 2009.

There are buyers of these tales in the dog-eat-dog world but it is never clear whom is biting whom. At the end of the day, ordinary Turks pay the bill.

Turkey’s official data will suggest positive growth in 2020 and declining inflation in the coming months.

Turkish retail industry as a whole is in the midst of debt restructurings. Turkey’s private airlines are seeking state help to restructure 20bn lira of loans. Qatari fund bought a stake in a mall owned by debt-troubled Dogus Holding.

Turkey sold $2.25bn 10-year eurobonds at 5.95% coupon. Istanbul Municipality's upcoming $650mn eurobond was rated by Moody’s and Fitch.

Syndicated loan renewal season for Turkish banks continues (See Section 5.4).

Second virus wave is hitting Turkish exporters. Trade deficit narrowed to $2.3bn in October. Foreign tourist arrivals in Turkey plunged nearly 60% y/y in October. Turkey’s tourism sector is ‘set to shrink 70% this year with revenue fall of more than $20bn’.

Turkish Airlines plans to burn through $250mn cash per month in Q4. Its number of passengers fell 64% y/y in October.

Turkey turned to pipelines for natural gas imports in bid to fulfil its obligations in take-or-pay contracts after the prices were adjusted at end-June. The country still pays higher prices compared to Europe but it benefits now from the oil price collapse in Q2.

Czhech Energo hopes to enjoy government subsidies with its new hydro-plants in Turkey.

Ulker “may acquire related-party entities that are ultimately owned by shareholder Yildiz”. Retailer BIM denied responsibility for building collapse in the Aegean Sea earthquake.

Anadolu Efes was dropped from MSCI Turkey index.

Q3 financials season at Borsa Istanbul ended (See Section 4.3.2).

Turkey fined Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Periscope. Turkey’s Competition Board fined Google. Netflix, Amazon Prime obtained Turkey licences.

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