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Turkey’s central bank to transfer last year’s profits and reserves to Treasury

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The Turkish Central Bank will transfer tens of billions of lira to the Treasury from last year’s profits and from its precautionary reserves, the Ahval news website reported on Monday.

The bank will pay advance dividends from its profit of the 2019 accounting period and distribute reserves from its profit of 2018, it said in a statement on Monday.

The decision was made at an extraordinary meeting of its general assembly earlier in the day, according to the statement.

The central bank’s move came after it transferred tens of billions of lira to the Treasury last year to help fund budget spending.

The amount included TL 33.7 billion from its 2018 profit, with the move approved at a similar extraordinary meeting last January. The bank normally makes such decisions in April.

The decision also followed a government statement on Friday announcing that December’s budget deficit represented the biggest monthly shortfall of 2019.

The deficit for the entire year widened by 70 percent to TL 123.7 billion in 2019, significantly surpassing the government-designated target of TL 80.6 billion.

The Turkish government is seeking funds to help lift the economy out of a financial downturn sparked by a currency crisis in 2018 and to meet its goal of economic growth of 5 percent this year.

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