What matters on Thursday, December 22

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who convened with Labor and Social Security Minister yesterday, is expected to announce the hotly-anticipated minimum wage midday today. The minimum wage proposal from the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (TURK-IS), which represents the employee side in the Minimum Wage Determination Commission, proposed to TRY 9,000 for the minimum wage at the commission’s third meeting held this week.

Another important item of the day is the Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s (PPK) interest decision. Market players expect no policy rate change from the PPK.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez stated that there won’t be any electricity or natural gas price hikes at the beginning of 2023. Donmez also announced that the government is aiming to implement a schedule to set up a regional natural gas hub within a year starting with a limited number of markets.  

The government and private companies are in talks with the U.S. for purchases of small nuclear reactors, as the country looks to wean itself off coal, according to Bloomberg. “There is a serious interest in nuclear as a way to replace coal-fired power plants,” Justin Friedman, senior advisor for commercial competitiveness in nuclear energy at the U.S. State Department, said in an interview with Bloomberg in Ankara.There is room to purchase as many as 35 small modular reactors, known as SMRs, Friedman said, citing Turkish aspirations for 20 gigawatts of electricity generation capacity from nuclear by 2050. The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources declined to comment.

Inflation will decline more significantly in the upcoming months with the normalization in global energy prices, the continuation of policies to raise production, and recovery in forecasts, according to Treasury and Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati. Speaking at a press conference in Izmir, Nebati said 31.2 million people have been employed and exports have exceeded USD 253bn at present.

Turkey’s benchmark stock index ended yesterday at 5,429.13 points with an increase of 0.19%, hitting another all-time high. Borsa Istanbul’s BIST 100 index, which also broke an intraday record of 5,491.10 points, gained 10.11 points from the previous close with a daily trading volume of TRY 124.1bn. Global equity markets have continued to be pressured by increasing concerns over recession due to central banks’ tightening steps. Further, volatility may continue with increasing bond yields and the impact of transactions by investors who want to close their positions before the Christmas holiday, according to analysts. They said that domestic markets continue to positively differentiate but also warned of the possibility of decreasing profit realization despite the expectation of an upward trend. Analysts also stated that 5,350 points will be the support level and 5,500 points will be the resistance level for the BIST 100 index, in technical terms.


The Culture and Tourism Ministry will release tourism figures for November (11.00 a.m.).

The Central Bank will announce the interest rate decision (2.00 p.m.).

The Central Bank will release the weekly monetary and banking statistics (2.30 p.m.).


>> The transaction volume of mergers and acquisitions fell by 63% to USD 5.3bn in 2022, compared to the previous year, according to a report prepared by KPMG Turkey.

>> Sehir Hatlari, an Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) subsidiary providing public sea transportation services in Istanbul, launched five electric water taxis on the 567th anniversary of Halic Shipyard yesterday. Electric water taxis were manufactured at the same shipyard.

>> Trade turnover between Russia and Turkey doubled in the first nine months of this year to reach USD 45bn, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. In an online meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), Lavrov also said Moscow is negotiating with Ankara and other foreign colleagues to establish a gas distribution center in Turkey.


>> A story of sanctions

Our Foreign Policy Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli examines new sanctions placed by the U.S. Treasury on Turkish businessman Sitki Ayan, who is also a close ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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