Turkey's Central Bank Raises Rates To Compete Globally

In a bold move, Turkey's Central Bank raised return rates in an effort to look more appeal to foreign investors.
Posted at 12:11 PM, Jan 29, 2014

In an emergency midnight meeting on Tuesday, the Turkish Central Bank made a dramatic move in an effort to bring the Turkish lira up from its record lows against the dollar and euro.

"Here's what they did. They raised the overnight rate from 7.75 to 12 percent, the primary dealer rate went from 6.75 to 11.5 percent, the 1-week repo rate went from 4.5 to 10 percent." (Via NBC)

And the lira did perk up following the announcement — against the U.S. dollar, it went from 2.25 to 2.2, according to the BBC. That's about a 4 percent raise.

It all comes down to foreign investments. The move is intended to make Turkey look more appealing to investors by offering larger return rates, thereby bolstering the value of the Turkey's economy.

The New York Times writes, "Turkey is battling a crisis of confidence in the global markets." Turkey is competing with other countries for investments, and as the U.S. and U.K. economies get stronger, other countries suddenly seem more risky.

Turkey is a member of what economists have nicknamed the "fragile five." Turkey, Brazil, India, South Africa and Indonesia have "economies that have become too dependent on skittish foreign investment," according toBusiness Insider.

Turkey's play could have a long-term positive effect on many other emerging markets if it is successful, according toThe Wall Street JournalFox Business reports a bump in markets around the region following Turkey's announcement.

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"It's as though the expectation that other central banks will follow Turkey's lead has certainly given the market back its risky appetite, so we say great gains today."

Turkey's economic policy is convoluted and tied closely with politics. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is knee-deep in a corruption scandal, has opposed rate hikes. He is facing an upcoming election later this year.