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    Turkish assets decline as global sentiment sours

    Reuters
    21.04.2009 - 14:46 | Son Güncelleme: 21.04.2009 - 17:39

    ISTANBUL - The Turkish lira extended its losses against the dollar on Tuesday, falling more than one percent, after global investor sentiment deteriorated again and as frustration rose at Turkey's protracted talks with the IMF.

    The lira traded at 1.6580 to the dollar in afternoon, down from a close of 1.6390 on Monday when it fell around 2 percent.

     

    Istanbul's index of leading shares also weakened 0.63 percent to 28,369.32 points, although it outperformed the MSCI index of emerging market equities down 0.96 percent. On Monday shares lost 3 percent.

     

    'The lira does not have the carry trade advantage any more... also there is no news on the IMF accord which people always say is imminent but we even don't know if it is going to be a standby or a flexible credit line,' said an Istanbul-based trader.

     

    Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that he expected an IMF mission to visit Turkey in May, later than the April timeframe given earlier by the government.

     

    The government has been discussing a new loan deal to replace the $10 billion accord which expired last May for months, to the increasing chagrin of the business community and investors.

     

    The lira currency has also weakened daily since the central bank cut interest rates by a larger than expected 75 basis points last week to an historic low of 9.75 percent.

     

    Turkey once had some of the highest interest rates in the world, with strong carry trade boosting the currency.

     

    Shares in Petrol Ofisi, Turkey's biggest fuel retailer, fell 1.42 percent to 4.16 lira after the company said it had been suspended from public tenders for up to two years due to irregularities.

     

    According to press reports, Petrol Ofisi delivered fuel oil with higher-than-agreed levels of sulphur to a state-owned power plant after winning a tender.

     

    Shares in fixed-line operator Turk Telekom slipped 0.5 percent after the company reported sales and operating profit in line with expectations, although net profit was weaker.

     

    The yield on the benchmark bond, maturing on Feb. 2, 2011, rose to 12.54 percent from the previous day's 12.33 percent.

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