Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Economic turmoil hits Turkey, US bank stocks react

Berat Albayrak Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak is to unveil the plan for Turkey's economy on Friday
Elsie Buchanan | 11 August, 2018, 11:25

The lira slid to a fresh record low against the USA dollar.

Turkey has had this sort of experience - a disastrous currency collapse shrinking its economy and impoverishing its citizens - several times before, most recently in February 2001.

"In that sense, the Turkey situation can be a contagion not only in Europe but across emerging markets", Anderson said. Financial upheaval there risks further destabilizing an already volatile region. "Aluminum will now be 20 percent and Steel 50 percent", he said in a Twitter post.

In a statement, the White House said the president had authorized the preparation of documents to raise tariffs, citing national security concerns. The company had said in a quarterly filing that Turkey wasn't among its top 25 country exposures at midyear, which means it's something less than $3.7 billion. Then there is the fact that Turkey has detained a U.S. pastor on terrorism charges which has further angered the USA administration and led to sanctions on two Turkish government officials. The ruble fell the most since the 2015 oil shock after the USA announced new sanctions on Russian Federation over a nerve-agent attack in the U.K. Amid it all, Elon Musk roiled Tesla Inc.'s shares with a tweet signaled he'd take the firm private.

Marcus Chenevix, Middle East analyst at TS Lombard said that Turkey's economy is fragile. "This is a national, domestic battle", he told a crowd in the northeastern city of Bayburt.

Erdogan's decision to name his son-in-law as finance minister also made people wonder about the direction of the country's economic policy.

Adding to investors' concerns, Erdogan pledged a continuation of his debt-fueled construction policy to boost the economy, which is blamed for Turkey's rampant inflation and has added to currency weakness.

Then there are Turkey's worsening relations with the US.

Erdogan said Turkey is not afraid of outside "threats".

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Carl Bildt, the former prime minister of Sweden who is now co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, tweeted on Friday: "To double key tariffs against an ally which is in a hard financial crisis is really brutal".

In June, the U.S. Senate passed a bill prohibiting Turkey from buying F-35 fighter jets because of Brunson's imprisonment and Turkey's purchase of Russia's S-400 air defense system.

"As he stated, the President has authorized the preparation of documents to raise tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey".

"If they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah, " he said.

Those words will further alarm many investors, suggesting that Turkey will neither impose a conventional economic programme to protect its currency nor find a way to come to terms with the USA over a tangle of issues that have brought them to loggerheads - chiefly, the jailing of United States missionary Andrew Brunson on terrorism charges. Gulen has denied the allegation.

Brunson was arrested in 2016 on charges that he had participated in a failed military coup against Erdogan, and had colluded with Kurdish militants.

His cause resonates with Mr Trump's Christian conservative supporters.

Jay Sekulow, an attorney for Trump who is also representing Brunson's family, told talk-show host and political commentator Sean Hannity's radio programme on Friday: "We're close to getting a resolution in that case".

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