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    Turkish Central Bank says lending rate should be benchmark rate

    HotNewsTurkey Staff
    06.10.2008 - 10:53 | Son Güncelleme:

    The governor of the Turkish central bank said Monday the market lending rate should be adopted as the benchmark interest rate. Yilmaz on Monday met President Gul in Ankara to brief him on the financial crisis. (UPDATED)

    "We started to provide liquidity to the system. We need to change the market lending rate to the benchmark interest rate," Yilmaz said in a televised interview on NTV broadcaster.


    Turkey was taking liquidity from the markets since 2002 due to excess in the markets but started to provide liquidity after the last May, Yilmaz added.


    Yilmaz also said the central bank would remain more responsive to bad news in deciding the interest rates, adding exports are vulnerable to global credit turmoil.


    Turkish banks do not face any difficulties in renewing their external loans, but the credit channels are now narrower than in the past, Yilmaz told NTV.


    Turkey was also affected by the growing global financial crisis, Yilmaz said and added that the central bank would move fast if any problem occurs related with foreign currency.


    "The central bank will continue to fund the required liquidity needs to the markets, as it did after the crisis in 2001," he added.


    Yilmaz met President Gul in Ankrara, and he is expected to brief Gul on the current global financial crisis, TV channels reported on Monday.



    Yilmaz also said Turkey needed an anchor and the uncertainty regarding the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-Turkey relations should end.


    "It should be decided whether an agreement would be signed or not. Our relations with the IMF helped us. They listed the actions that should be taken, and the government did what needed to be done. If we would make our own list, there is no need for a new loan, but an anchor is required anyhow," Yilmaz said.


    Turkey has not yet made a final decision whether to agree on a follow-up IMF program after its three-year $10 billion loan deal expired in May. Officials earlier said that a decision on a new agreement with the IMF could be announced in September or October if the country opts for a new deal.


    A large delegation of economists, led by Turkish State Minister Mehmet Simsek, is currently in Washington to attend IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings.



    The Turkish central bank also said on Monday that the decline in inflation is expected to ease in the coming term, in its September Inflation Report.


    The hikes in electricity and the gas prices would increase the energy group inflation in October, however inflation in the country was expected to moderate gradually in the coming period if the positive outlook on oil and food prices continues, the central bank said in the report.


    Electricity prices increased 9.07 percent for consumers and 9.27 percent for industry in September, as gas prices were also hiked 4.55 percent as of Oct. 1.


    Turkish inflation slowed to 11.1 percent in September from 11.8 percent the previous month.


    The decline in inflation increased the chance of a rate cut, among analysts. "Friday's Turkish consumer-price index backs rate cut expectations," Bloomberg quoted analysts including Lucy Bethell at Royal Bank of Scotland on Monday.


    Turkey's 16.75 percent benchmark rate is the highest in Europe.


    Photo: AA



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