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    Talks underway on new IMF-Turkey standby deal, no final agreement

    HotNewsTurkey with wires
    14.10.2008 - 09:33 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkey is discussing a precautionary standby deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but a final agreement has not been reached, Turkish Economy Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Monday.

    "Discussions with the fund are ongoing but a deal is not done yet," Simsek, said at a press conference in Washington. "I appreciate the markets' desire for an anchor to the crisis with such a deal but in fact Turkey's banking and financial system are sound."       

     

    A $10 billion three-year loan program with the IMF expired in May and Turkey is currently deciding what kind of follow-up agreement should be made.

     

    Turkish business leaders and economists want a precautionary standby deal with the IMF, which will enable the country to access IMF cash, as the country's markets are hit by the global financial turmoil. An IMF team is scheduled to visit Turkey starting next week, the minister said.

     

    Investors see an IMF agreement as one of the two important anchors of the Turkish economy together with the European Union membership process.

     

    "No one is immune to this crisis, but years of homework and fiscal discipline have brought us today to a much better position to face this challenge," Simsek said. "Those policies are helping cushion Turkey."

     

    Simsek also added Turkey will keep its commitment to fiscal discipline amid the global markets turmoil as the 2009 budget start being drafted.

     

    "The crisis is a challenge, but it is not a reason for the country to overspend and deviate from its previous commitment to discipline," he said.

     

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