Turkey’s foreign exchange sales to state-owned enterprises hit a record $4.15 billion in January

ISTANBUL, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Sales of foreign currency to Turkish state economic enterprises – mainly energy importer BOTAS – hit a record $4.15 billion in January, the central bank said on Monday. , after a fall in the lira and a jump in energy. prices.

The January data lifted foreign exchange sales to state-owned enterprises over the past three months to $9.7 billion, after levels of $3.36 billion in the previous two months – two record highs at the time – energy imports accounting for the vast majority.

The central bank has been selling foreign currency to BOTAS since 2014. Reuters reported in November that BOTAS needed to turn to the bank to meet its growing foreign currency needs as gas prices and demand rise during the winter months. Read more

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The lira weakened 44% against the dollar last year after the central bank cut its benchmark rate by 500 basis points since September in an unorthodox policy advocated by President Tayyip Erdogan.

The currency remained stable in 2022 and was stable at 13.5505 at 08:30 GMT. Several bankers have described the situation as a managed exchange rate or a “dirty float”, after the government’s moves to bolster public confidence and official reserves.

The lira hit a record low of 18.4 at the end of December, but rebounded after state interventions to support it and Erdogan’s announcement of a program to increase lira deposits by protecting them against depreciation .

Monday’s data also showed the central bank purchased $1.55 billion worth of foreign currency in January in the form of export rediscount credit repayments. Total repayments were around $21 billion in 2021 – the largest contribution made to its reserves last year.

The volume of deposits under the lira protection program now exceeds 290 billion liras ($21.4 billion), the head of Turkey’s banking watchdog BDDK said last Thursday, up from some 200 billion liras. liras at the end of January. Read more

Last month, corporate deposits were added to the scheme and these deposits were later exempted from corporation tax. Read more

In the wake of the scheme, Turks’ currency and gold holdings fell by more than $4 billion to $228.16 billion as of January 28, their lowest level since July. Read more

Central bank foreign exchange reserves have fallen sharply in recent years, most recently due to market interventions to support the lira. But its net international reserves rose by more than $1.2 billion last week to $10.53 billion.

($1 = 13.5460 lira)

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Reporting by Nevzat Devranoglu Writing by Daren Butler Editing by Jonathan Spicer

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