Turkey’s external debt up to one-year maturity at $169.5 bln at end of May: central bank

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Turkey’s central bank said on Monday the country’s external debt maturing in a year or less stood at $169.5 billion, up nearly $5 billion from a month earlier, Reuters reported.

Public-sector debt made up 23.2 percent of the total stock. The central bank made up 11.4 percent and the private sector made up 65.4 percent, the bank said.

Short-term external loans used by banks declined by 5.8 percent to $7.3 billion in the first five months of 2020, it said. Short-term debt of state banks rose 2.6 percent to $25.7 billion in the same period, while the private sector’s short-term external debt declined 13 percent to $78.4 billion.

Separately, data from the BDDK banking watchdog showed on Friday that state banks’ short foreign currency positions had increased to $9.7 billion as of July 10, from $8.3 billion a week earlier, as they continue their largest direct intervention in years.

The increase in state banks’ short FX position has coincided with greater stability of the lira, which is trading in a narrow range after settling in mid-May and staying almost unchanged from 6.85 to the dollar since mid-June.

The lira has faced downward pressure from falling interest rates over the last year to support economic growth — vital to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s long political dominance — and limit fallout from the coronavirus crisis. The currency has lost some 45 percent of its value against the dollar since the end of 2017.

The combined short positions of the state banks add to more than $90 billions of central bank intervention since last year by bankers’ estimates, for a total of about $100 billion used to support the Turkish currency.

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