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A man leaves Turkey's Central Bank headquarters in Ankara (REUTERS)
A man leaves Turkey's Central Bank headquarters in Ankara (REUTERS)

Turkey hikes main interest rate to 17%

  • The decision means that Turkey's main rate has soared by 6.75 percentage points in just a month after two years
  • The lira gained more than half a percent in value and was trading at around 7.59 against the dollar minutes after the rate decision

Turkey's central bank on Thursday hiked its main interest rate by two percentage points to 17 percent and promised further monetary tightening to help tamp down soaring inflation.

The decision means that Turkey's main rate has soared by 6.75 percentage points in just a month after two years in which it was held steady due to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's belief that higher rates cause inflation.

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That policy saw the Turkish lira lose roughly a third of its value against the dollar as the central bank burned through its reserves in an effort to prop up the currency.

The accompanying rise in the annual inflation rate to above 10 percent forced Erdogan to reshuffle his economic team and appoint market-friendly former finance minister Naci Agbal as central bank chief last month.

The lira managed to claw back about 10 percent against the dollar after the change on market expectations that monetary orthodoxy was retuning to Turkey's management of the economy.

The statement issued after Agbal's second monthly central bank policy meeting Thursday focused heavily on fighting inflation.

The bank "has decided to implement a strong monetary tightening, in order to eliminate risks to the inflation outlook, contain inflation expectations and restore the disinflation process as soon as possible," it said in a statement.

"In the forthcoming period, tightness of the monetary policy stance will be decisively sustained until strong indicators point to a permanent fall in inflation in line with the targets and to price stability," it added.

The lira gained more than half a percent in value and was trading at around 7.59 against the dollar minutes after the rate decision.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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