What matters on Wednesday, October 19

Parliament approved a presidential motion seeking to extend the mandate of Turkish troops in Lebanon for one more year. The mandate of Turkish soldiers as part of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) would be extended as of October 30, 2022. The Turkish parliament first approved the participation of troops in the UNIFIL mission in September 2006.

The Central Bank has raised the securities maintenance ratio required for foreign exchange (FX) deposits from 3% to 5% and introduced a gradual regulation from 2023 that can raise the ratio to 12% for banks holding less than 50% TRY deposits in total deposits. The new regulation aims to deter FX deposits and raise the share of TRY, according to bankers. They said the first impact of this regulation on banks is that they will hold additional TRY 88bn in Treasury bonds in the next three months. The new regulation is expected to positively differentiate long-term and fixed coupon bonds in parallel with previous ones. The amount of bonds to be held by banks will vary between TRY 80bn and TRY 100bn as a result of the regulation.

So far, 354 ships with over 7.86 million tons of agricultural products have left Ukrainian ports since the Istanbul grain export deal was inked on August 1, according to Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu. He said the total shipment that arrived in Turkish ports amounted to 1.3 million tons. “Around 17% of the total shipment has arrived in Turkey,” Karaismailoglu added.

Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin stated that talks continue for natural gas payments to Russia. Kalin said state energy company BOTAS is in talks with Russia to postpone payments until 2024.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) has applied to Turkey’s top court to annul an article added to the penal code that sets jail time for spreading disinformation as part of a new media law, according to Reuters.  CHP Leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu earlier promised that his party would apply to the Constitutional Court for the full media law to be annulled. The Parliament approved the bill last week and it became law early yesterday when it was published in the Official Gazette. The government says it aims to regulate online publications, protect the country, and combat disinformation. An article added to the Turkish penal code says spreading misleading information in a way that disturbs public peace is a crime.


No important data will be released in the country


>> The Residential Property Price Index jumped 184.6% in August, compared to the same month last year, according to the Central Bank.

>> Formal employment increased by 3.8% and the number of socially insured paid employees rose by 4.3% in July, compared to the previous month, according to a report by the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV).


>> Foreigners exit!

Our Eco Analysis Columnist Alaattin Aktas addresses the portfolio and foreign direct investment outflows from Turkey.

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