Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on March 19 that uncertainty about the global supply chain generated by the pandemic represented an opportunity for Turkey. He also said that he had "no concerns" about Turkey's ability to meet its economic growth, budget and inflation targets for 2020 despite expectations of a potentially severe global recession due to the coronavirus.
Four major Turkish clothing companies announced they were closing their stores indefinitely as of March 19 in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The internationally-renowned Turkish denim manufacturer Mavi Jeans and the luxury boutique chain Beymen were among the four firms.
Turkey's lira weakened to 6.52 against the dollar on March 19, hitting its weakest level since September 2018. In August and September 2018, Turkish Lira hit record lows against the dollar when relations between Turkey and the United States significantly deteriorated over the imprisonment of a U.S. pastor in Turkey.
Ali Babacan, the chairman of DEVA, has shared a series of proposals on what the gov't should do to limit the negative financial effects of the novel coronavirus on businesses and citizens. “Every kind of employment incentive should be utilized as soon as possible. Unemployment funds are for these days,” he said.
Turkey’s Central Bank lowered its key interest rate by 100 basis points to 9.75 percent and announced a series of measures to boost liquidity to counter the impact of coronavirus.
The unemployment rate among Turkey's young population, ages 15 to 24, has surged to 25 percent in December of 2019, higher than the past six years' rates, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) revealed March 10. The average unemployment rate has also risen from 2018 to reach 13.7 percent.
The former chairman of Yıldız Holding, the biggest food manufacturer in the Central/Eastern European, Middle Eastern and African region, is the richest man in Turkey, Forbes magazine reported March 7. Ülker's assets grew by over one billion from 2019, when they were worth $3.7 billion.
One of Turkey's largest supermarket chains has closed the 2019 fiscal year at a loss of 492,112 Turkish Lira (over $75,000), an independent audit revealed to the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP). A company balance sheet revealed half of the company's total liabilities to be in foreign currencies, indicating the 2019 losses for Migros could have been triggered by the fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates.
A hearing scheduled for March 3 in the case against Turkey's state-owned Halkbank has been adjourned. In a letter to Judge Berman, the bank's lawyer Andrew Hruska asked for more time to obtain a written authorization from Halkbank indicating that he has been given permission by the bank's general manager to enter a plea on its behalf.
Turkey's most recent increase of its special consumption tax on gas and diesel fuel will bring an estimated five billion Turkish Liras of annual income. With a 0,18 TL/litre increase on the tax, it is now 2,52 TL/litre for gas and 2,05 TL/litre for diesel fuel.
Finance Minister Albayrak has deleted his tweets praising Turkish economy following backlash from social media users. Albayrak's tweets came just hours after authorities announced that 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in Syria's Idlib, in one of the deadliest attacks on Turkish troops in the Republic's history.
The European Union will be imposing sanctions on two top executives from Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) for the country's drilling activities in the east Mediterranean that it deemed illegal, the Official Journal of the EU said on Feb. 27. Vice President Mehmet Ferruh Akalın and Deputy Director of the Exploration Department Ali Coşkun Namoğlu will see their EU assets frozen and be forbidden to travel in EU countries.
The Turkish Central Bank has announced its foreign currency reserves declined by $2.45 billion to $73.19 billion in the week ending on Feb. 21. State banks buying liras and selling dollars in an apparent attempt to prop up Turkey’s currency is seen by many investors as a reason for a gradual drain on the Central Bank’s foreign currency reserves in recent months.
International credit rating giant Moody's warned Turkey that negative real interest rates could hurt the Turkish Central Bank's credibility and lower investors' trust. The practice of having interest rates on loans that are lower than the inflation rate, negative real interest rates make Turkey more hazardous rather than risk-averse for investors, Moody's added.
The 303 Turkish Lira raise in minimum wage from January has become irrelevant in February, Turkey's Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş) said. The first two months of 2020 have seen a price surge of 4.28% and the hunger threshold is set at 2,257 TL.