President Recep Tayyip Erdogan answered the opposition’s question about the Central Bank’s ‘missing’ USD 128bn foreign exchange (FX) reserves under four titles at the AK Party Group meeting held yesterday. Erdogan explained the 18-year course of the bank’s reserves in a cinevision.
“USD 30bn was used from the Central Bank’s resources to finance the country’s current account deficit in the last two years, while the amount used for foreign capital outflow has reached USD 31bn,” President Erdogan said. “The resource demanded by the real sector to reduce FX debt has seen USD 50bn,” he added. “Our citizens have changed their savings preference by purchasing USD 54bn equivalent FX and gold,” President Erdogan noted, stressing that total amount reaches USD 165bn.
To avoid these never-ending discussions on the missing amount and for a better economy, the Central Bank and state-owned banks have to have distance from Ankara. After years of negative experiences, in 2001, Turkey had liberalized its Central Bank and restructured its public banks. We have been witnessing back steps from this fact that we realized in the 2001 crisis and made reforms to correct it. Perhaps this is the most important lesson to be learned from the reserve issue.
In the meantime, it’s worthy note that the number of daily coronavirus cases have reached 62,000. Accordingly, 61,967 people have been infected while the death toll reached 362.
In this context, this weekend’s curfew will be extended to three days to including the April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day with a circular by the Interior Ministry. The three-day lockdown begins at 7.00 p.m. today and will end at 5.00 a.m. on Monday. Grocery stores, bakeries and butchers will be open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. As usual, citizens are only allowed to visit the nearest store on foot.
Looking at the markets, TRY assets depreciate this week. USD/TRY starts the day at 8.32, while EUR/TRY slightly exceeds 10.00. Spot gold saw USD 1,792 per ounce and gold price stands at TRY 480 per gram.
The Central Bank will release Summary of the Monetary Policy Committee’s (PPK) meeting held on April 15.
The consumer confidence index dropped by 7.5% to 80.2 points in April, compared to the previous month, according to the consumer tendency survey prepared by the Turkish Statistical Institute and the Central Bank.