Turkey's lira plunges after Erdogan fires central bank head


The forex was buying and selling Monday at round 8.12 per US greenback, weakening about 12% from Friday. It had slipped even additional towards the dollar earlier within the morning.

The lira’s fall got here after Erdogan dismissed Turkish central bank governor Naci Agbal by means of presidential decree early Saturday. Agbal had served lower than 5 months on the job. He was changed by Sahap Kavcioglu, a banking professor and former parliamentarian for Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, often called AKP.

“The shock firing of central bank chief Agbal over the weekend may deal a fatal blow to investor confidence in Turkey,” wrote Win Thin, international head of forex technique at Brown Brothers Harriman, in a Sunday analysis observe.

In Agbal’s 5 months main the central bank, he defended its financial reforms and independence. And simply two days earlier than his firing, he hiked rates of interest by 200 foundation factors to 19%, larger than anticipated.

By delivering that “hawkish surprise,” Abgal’s “days were numbered as he found himself at the receiving end of President Erdogan’s ire,” Win wrote.

“After regaining investor confidence with a series of aggressive rate hikes, Turkey has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory,” he added.

Win mentioned that the fallout might even push the lira to eight.58 per US greenback, the all-time excessive, and should “even surpass it.”

Erdogan believes in an unorthodox method to financial coverage based mostly on maintaining rates of interest low to keep away from inflation. Kavcioglu, the newly appointed head of the central bank, has defended related approaches. He was a member of parliament in AKP from 2015 till 2018, and wrote columns for the pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper.

“At this point, it doesn’t matter who Agbal’s replacement is or what they say, as it’s clear that Erdogan is running the show,” Win mentioned.

— John Defterios contributed to this report.

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