A U.S. judge has denied a request by Turkey's state-owned Halkbank to stop a federal prosecution accusing it of taking party in a multibillion-dollar scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran. “Simply stated, the court rejects Halkbank’s efforts to avoid and delay appropriate district court proceedings,” Judge Richard Berman said.
Representatives of Turkey's biggest trade union confederation Türk-İş have walked out of minimum wage negotiations, saying that the newly determined amount would not even be sufficient to cover the expenses of a worker for 10 days, let alone 30 days. The country's labor, social services and family minister on Dec. 26 announced that the minimum wage for 2020 would be a net 2,324 Turkish Liras ($392) per month following weeks-long negotiations between employers and labor unions.
Despite Minister of City Planning and Environment Murat Kurum vowing that the land around the controversial Kanal Istanbul project would not be zoned for profitable development, a number of Arab businesspeople have purchased large swathes of land near the route of the project. Opposition CHP claims that “an Arab canton is nearly being established" in the area.
The Pentagon has awarded eight Turkish companies a total of $95 million for construction work and other projects for its bases in Turkey. The Pentagon's website posted information on the Turkish companies that "have been awarded a $95,000,000 multiple award firm-fixed-price, indefinite-order/indefinite-quantity contract for design-build, partial design and full design infrastructure requirements."
The Turkish Post (PTT) has totaled a loss of 1,5 billion Turkish liras over the past two years, following its transfer to Turkey Wealth Fund (TVF). At the time of the 2017 transfer, the PTT vault had a positive balance of 650 million liras and is at a negative of 900 million liras today. The TVF bought 5 million liras worth of air fresheners bought for PTT branches. 600,000 units were bought even though the PTT only has 3,800 branches.
An unemployment insurance fund established in 2000 by former Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit in order to support the jobless has transformed into a mechanism that supports employers. Figures indicate amount of money from the fund going to employers has doubled that of the amount going to unemployed people
The first Turkish-produced car was delivered by logistics company Ege Ekspress about two weeks ago, as reported by the daily Dünya. The public introduction to the vehicles will be done by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Dec. 27 and production will start in 2022.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that trade with national currencies has developed urgency. Speaking at the Kuala Lumpur Summit, Erdoğan suggested that Turkey could collaborate with Malaysia to work on 'finance without interest'.
Turkey’s central bank has launched a dollar-to-lira swap auction -- in a first since August -- to help boost its foreign reserves, while the banking watchdog has limited banks’ swap operations with non-residents. The result was Turkey's lira sliding to its weakest level in daily trade since May on Dec. 19.
Russia delivered its first batch of exported sugar to Turkey and Greece in November. The Turkey shipment was 1,400 tons and the one to Greece was 591 tons. Russia is expected to set a record for production levels with more than 7 million tons this year, according to the Russian Ministry of Agriculture.
Turkey's state-run Ziraat Bank has dropped its plan to buy 51 percent of the shares of Simit Sarayı, which is alleged to hold debts of up to half a billion dollars. The move came after President Erdoğan said that he would disapprove of such a takeover.
Turkey's Central Bank announced on Dec. 17 that the country's short-term external debt stock totaled $118 billion as of October. Half of the country's short-term foreign debt stock was in U.S. dollars, followed by 30.6 percent in euros, 13.4 percent in Turkish liras, and 6 percent in other currencies. The public sector's short-term debt, mainly of public banks, hit $21.7 billion, up 3.7 percent.
Turkey's Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) has sent an advisory document to the banks, saying that it's necessary to maintain a cautious policy aimed at keeping banks' resource structures and hence, the profits obtained in 2019 should not be distributed to shareholders and executives. "The profits and reserves kept under resources shouldn't be distributed in a way that would cause cash outflows," the BDDK said.
The Turkish lira depreciated 0.7 percent to 5.85 per dollar by 5:25 p.m. in Istanbul after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to close two critical NATO bases, Bloomberg reported on Dec. 16. The lira has already weakened more than any other emerging-market currency since Dec. 12, when the central bank cut rates a for a fourth straight meeting to 12 percent.
Turkey was placed on probation by the G-7 Financial Action Task Force for neglecting the prevention of financing terrorism and money laundering. Turkey will be considered for an "international gray list" by the end of the one-year probation period.