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Turkey economy chief rules out capital controls as policy option

Albayrak’s comments offer a glimpse into the new economy chief’s thinking

Gulf News

ANKARA

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak ruled out restrictions on movement of capital as a policy option, seeking to bolster confidence during a conference call on Thursday.

Speaking to what his office estimated would be thousands of investors around the world, Albayrak said reining in inflation and narrowing the current-account deficit were policy priorities.

Albayrak’s comments offer a glimpse into the new economy chief’s thinking as a spat with the US over a detained American pastor roils Turkish financial markets. The lira lost as much as a quarter of its value within a matter of weeks after the US sanctioned members of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government but has pared some losses after banking regulators and the central bank made it costlier to bet against the currency.

The lira gained while the economy chief spoke, trading 3.1 per cent stronger at 5.7660 per dollar at 4:46pm in Istanbul.

On inflation, Albayrak said the central bank alone wouldn’t be able to rein in price gains to targeted levels without tighter fiscal policy. In the meantime, economic growth will moderate in the medium term from 7.4 per cent expansion last year.

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