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Turkey’s banking watchdog imposes settlement delay for forex purchases over $100,000

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Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) on Monday imposed a settlement delay for FX purchases by individuals of more than $100,000, a move that could raise concerns about capital control in the country as it looks protect the value of its local currency, Reuters reported.

The settlement date for FX purchases by individuals of more than $100,000 — or equivalent in other currencies — will be the following day, the letter sent from the watchdog to banks showed.

Turkey’s lira has been battered since a crisis last year saw the currency lose nearly 30 percent of its value against the dollar. It has lost some 12 percent this year on concerns over ties with Washington and a re-run of İstanbul mayoral elections.

Authorities have recently taken unorthodox steps to protect the local currency, including state banks selling dollars to prop up the lira.

Ankara also raised a tax on some foreign exchange sales to 0.1 percent from zero last week in an effort to discourage Turks converting savings to foreign currencies.

The latest move, which will be effective on Tuesday, is aimed at “contributing to the stable operation of financial markets and the effective operation of the loan system and the prevention of potential speculative transactions,” the BDDK said in the letter.

It means that FX purchases of more than $100,000 by individuals will be transferred to their accounts the following day.

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