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Turkey announces new measures to curb foreign currency demand

REUTERS/Umit Bektas/
Ankara has secured some $28 billion in currency swap deals in recent years

Turkey’s central bank has asked banks to widen the spread for gold and foreign currency transactions to curb foreign currency demand, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The central bank also asked the banking sector to increase derivative transaction costs to around 40 percent, the sources said, in a move aimed at directing such transactions to Borsa Istanbul.

The Turkish central bank declined to comment.

Authorities have introduced measures to protect the markets against the impact of massive earthquakes that hit the southeastern region last week, killing more than 41,000 people in Turkey and neighbouring Syria.

Separately, the apex bank bought 1.8 billion lira ($95.51 million) worth of government bonds and sukuk via the quotation method on Thursday, central bank data from Refinitiv Eikon showed.

It follows the central bank’s purchase of 4.1 billion lira worth of government bonds and sukuk via the quotation method on Wednesday.

The central bank earlier said it would buy up to 8 billion lira in government bonds and sukuk, a move bankers said was aimed at balancing government bond sales by pension funds who must meet new regulations on the allocation of stocks in the government-sponsored part of the funds.