Turkey Country Report Jul22 - July , 2022

July 11, 2022

Turkey on June 9 came up with what critics might see as a more desperate and limited version of the process staged last December 20 when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced an instrument for FX-protected deposits and officials subsequently drove the USD/Turkish lira (TRY) from above the 18-level to the 10s via backdoor channels.

Turkey’s finance ministry first released a statement threatening economic actors that it could again take some steps to hit FX investors.

The expectation was for a CPI-indexed bond for individual investors. The banks have recently written big profits from such paper. Speculation has mounted that the government was considering a similar paper for individuals.

No CPI-indexed bond or so-called “super bond,” which would offer attractive lira returns, has been released as yet.

Observers saw a mad commotion that turned out to be much ado about nothing.

June 24 witnessed another desperate attempt to halt the slow-motion lira meltdown. This time, the timing was better as banking watchdog BDDK released its statement on the market action after the Friday (June 24) market close.

So, the Erdogan regime’s “native and national FX team” had a shorter time to ensure there was no bounceback on progress dragging back the USD/TRY pair prior to the market shutdown.

What we had in the move this time round was not another “financial instrument” or “macroprudential measure,'' but another non-capital control.

Accordingly, companies with more than TRY15mn ($0.9mn) worth of FX-denominated deposits will not be allowed to obtain lira-denominated loans if their FX deposits exceed 10% of their total assets or annual revenues.

No need to mention that this will not deliver some fresh and real hard currency dollars (not fiduciary such as FX-linked deposits, which are not real dollars but just bank records in the local financial system) in the interbank money market.

Some more desperate steps are on the way in the coming days as Turkey is again getting closer to a balance of payments crisis.

Another rate hike shock (some 50 percentage points would be enough?) would again bring some FX cash from bottom feeding fish in London, who would again seek some 30-40% USD-denominated returns within a few months.

Let’s reiterate that this story will end at the door of the IMF.

The minimum wage, which was increased by 50% at the end of 2021, was hiked by 30%.

Ege Gubre (EGGUB) suspended compound fertiliser production for an indefinite period of time due to global raw material prices and demand conditions.

eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) is to shut down its Turkish unit Gittgidiyor as of July 18.

Turkey’s energy ministry completed the YEKA RES-3 (Renewable Energy Source Areas, Wind Power Plants-3) and the YEKA GES-4 (Renewable Energy Source Areas, Solar Power Plants-4) rounds.

On June 24, the daily average wholesale electricity price broke a new record at TRY 2.72 ($0.16) per kWh. The USD-denominated record was registered on February 13, 2012 at $3.92.

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