The United States is considering launching an investigation into digital services taxes of Turkey, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said.
According to a study conducted by a confederation of Turkish labor unions, overall expenses in October of this year increased by 36.9 percent. Meanwhile, the prices of electricity, natural gas, and fuel have risen by 60, 52, and 30 percent respectively. A lengthy list of prices increases concerning everything from food to furniture to electricity and fuel has weighed heavily upon shopkeepers.
The Turkish economy grew by 0.4 percent in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter on seasonal and calendar adjusted basis, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on Dec. 2. Compared with the same quarter of 2018, the Turkish economy expanded by 0.9 percent, the agency said.
Car sales have dropped below the market expectations of 600 yearly sales, which might force dealerships to shrink operations or even close. As a result of the economic crisis, the industry average for yearly sales had dropped from 1 million to 620 thousand last year, and are expected to drop further to 470 thousand.
Morgan Stanley is reportedly investigating suspected mismarking of securities to conceal losses of as much as $140 million in a portfolio handled day-to-day by London-based Scott Eisner, a 2014 Yale University graduate and associate at the firm. The wager was claimed to be tied to the Turkish lira, a currency that whipsawed investors in 2018 and earlier in 2019 amid mounting political tensions.
U.S. federal prosecutors have opposed Halkbank's request to make a “special appearance” in the Southern District of New York court to fight the charges that it helped Iran evade sanctions. The Turkish state-owned bank submitted such a request to seek dismissal of the case without it having to formally accept and answer the charges.
Turkish carrier Atlas Global Airlines has announced that it's temporarily suspending all its flights until Dec. 21. "The recent problems and the economic burden it brought about, as well as the major increase in logistic and operational costs stemming from moving to the new airport in April removed our possibility of making up for the costs we suffered in 2016/2017," the company said.
Based on a November study, the labor union Turk-İş has determined that the current hunger threshold for a family of four in Turkey is 2102 TL per month, while the poverty threshold for a family of the same size is 6489 TL. Regarding food products and other necessities, the study indicated the average monthly budget for a family has increased by 522 TL since last year.
Turkey's Koç Holding said there were ongoing negotiations with UniCredit on the reorganization of the shareholder structures of Koç Financial Services (KFS) and Yapı Kredi (YKB) “in such a manner to ensure that the parties shall not reach direct or indirect majority of YKB."
UniCredit has struck a deal to reduce its exposure to Turkey’s Yapı Kredi, a move seen as a first step toward the Italian bank’s full exit from the recession-hit country. As part of the plan, UniCredit will sell its 50 percent stake in its joint venture Koç Financial Services - which controls Yapı Kredi - to its partner Koç Holding.
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has said that the company is reconsidering its decision to locate in Turkey, as he cited the country's military offensive in northern Syria as the basis of the move. "As long as people are being killed, we are not laying the foundation stone next to a battlefield," Diess said, adding that Volkswagen shares the assessment of the German government and the European Union on the military conflict in northern Syria.
The OECD has upgraded its gross domestic product predictions for the Turkish economy for this year, next year and 2021, while advising the country to make the macroeconomic policy framework simplified and more transparent to rebuild domestic and international confidence. "Investor confidence remains fragile and investment has declined sharply," it said.
Turkey's state-owned Halkbank said it should be able to challenge whether U.S. courts can hear the case at all before it entered a formal plea. The bank also rejected prosecutors' claim that it was a "fugitive." "As a corporation, Halkbank cannot be a 'fugitive' since it has no physical body to present," the bank said.
Turkey's annual top 100 taxpayer list has been announced. Out of the list of 100, 57 taxpayers asked to remain anonymous. The Turkish Central Bank came in the first place last year with 10.6 billion lira paid in taxes. With 6 places out of the top 10, banking still seems to be the highest earning sector in Turkey.
The latest unemployment figures, pertaining to the month of August, were released on Nov. 15 by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜIK) indicating that unemployment increased 2.9 percent from the same month in the previous year, reaching 14 percent.