Turkey’s central bank legal reserves fall by $9 bln since December: report

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The Turkish central bank’s net forex reserves, which exclude those deposited by banks, have fallen by about $9 billion since late December to just under $35 billion, Bloomberg said, citing its own calculations, according to the Ahval news website.

Excluding its short-term, off-balance sheet liabilities, the amount could be less than half of that, it said.

The central bank’s war chest stood at $8 billion at the end of last week, Deutsche Bank estimated, saying its calculations excluded public deposits, Bloomberg reported. The short-term liabilities included in net reserves also contain swaps made with state-run banks, which have sold dollars to stop the lira from weakening.

Turkey’s central bank has been defending the lira to help protect its goals for inflation and back a government-led campaign to lower interest rates and boost economic growth. It has slashed its benchmark lending rate to banks to 10.75 percent from 24 percent in July, meaning interest rates are now negative when including consumer price inflation of 12.2 percent.

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