What matters this morning

This week will be determinant on how we will run our businesses and daily lives in the coming period. As the number of daily cases are hovering over 50,000, all eyes will be on the Scientific Advisory Board to convey today and the Cabinet meeting to be held tomorrow. The recent status and possible measures towards the pandemic will be discussed at the Scientific Board Meeting and Health Minister Fahrettin Koca will deliver the decisions of the meeting to the Cabinet.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s previous statement about resting the country during the holly Ramadan, starting tomorrow, had raised questions about further measures, like full lockdown, closing of coffee houses and restaurants, possible new restrictions for people aged over 65 or below 20 and travel restrictions. All these will be answered by President Erdogan after the Cabinet meeting. Increasing number of coronavirus cases is a big concern but full lockdowns with insufficient government support is another distress for millions under current economic environment.

Foreign exchange rates, for instance, started the first trading day of the week with a slight upward movement. USD/TRY is traded at 8.20, while EUR/TRY appreciates at 9.74. Meanwhile, the USD index fell to 92,193.

Gold prices declined since the predictions on inflation increase raised the USD and Treasury returns in the U.S. Accordingly, spot gold is traded at USD 1,737. Contrarily, oil prices increased with the expectations on increase in oil demand in the U.S. Brent crude reached USD 62.50 per barrel, while the U.S. crude oil rose to USD 59.5.


Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) released labour force statistics for February. Accordingly, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.7% to 13.4%, while the seasonally adjusted employment rate dropped by 0.1% to 43.4% in February, compared to the previous month.

Turkstat also released Construction Cost Index for February. Accordingly, the index rose by 27.59% year-over-year, while it dropped by 0.03% on monthly basis.

The Ministry of Treasury and Finance released Treasury Cash Realizations for February. The current account balance posted a USD 2.61bn deficit.

The Scientific Advisory Board will meet under the presidency of Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, which will make a statement to the press at 7.00 pm.


>> On the cover: This week you can read an interview with Bangladesh’s Istanbul Consul General on the possibilities for increased trade with a nation on the cusp of emerging into developing country status. Bangladesh’s growth is a remarkable success story, and the potential for a long and fruitful relationship with Turkey offers a way to diversify foreign trade relations for both countries, the consul general argues. You can read the article on pages 13 and 15.

>> Professor Ilter Turan: A new beginning? P. 10.

>> Q&A: Isin Celebi, Professor and Faculty Member at Altinbas University, former Minister of State responsible for Economy. P. 11.

>> Diplomacy: Opportunities laid down for foreign investors at the AmCham event. P. 12.

>> Startup: Keiretsu Forum takes ambitious steps. P. 16.

>> Report: Turkey, a potential shared services hub: Page Group. P. 19.

>> Analysis: U.S. puzzling bid on Iran Nuclear Deal. P. 24.

>> Do not miss Time Out’s alternatives for the week.

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