Turkish finance minister's conference call attracts 4,000 investors

17 August, 2018, 02:51 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Turkey issues retaliatory tariffs on US imports

"You now have another huge selloff in EM, which has been exacerbated by Trump's willingness to jam on more and more sanctions when countries are having trouble in the market - like adding to the sanctions on Turkey", Haidar said.

The investment package was announced after Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani met President Tayyip Erdogan in the capital, as Turkey grapples with a collapsing lira and a worsening commercial and political standoff with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the United States.

Turkey has proven a key ally for Qatar over the past year, helping the tiny Gulf nation ride out a more than 14-month blockade by its powerful neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, with which it shares its only land border.

Turkey on Wednesday said it was hiking tariffs on imports of several key U.S. products in retaliation for American sanctions against Ankara, as a bitter dispute between the two allies that sent the Turkish lira into freefall showed no sign of ending.

The dispute between Turkey and the United States was sparked by a row over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was jailed almost two years ago in the crackdown that followed a failed military coup.

On Monday, the Turkish currency hit a record low of 7.24 against the U.S. dollar in Asia Pacific trading.

The White House defended a slew of tariffs and sanctions that have substantially weakened Turkey's currency and forced regulators to take steps to curb financial flows out of the country.

Despite the political tensions, the lira rebounded 6 percent on Wednesday, strengthening to about 6.0 to the dollar.

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The new Turkish tariffs came a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country would boycott USA electronic goods, singling out Apple's iPhones. Efforts to rally support and bolster domestic markets included a call Thursday between Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak and global investors.

Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said Turkey had doubled tariffs on 22 products imported from the United States, saying the tariffs were together worth an additional $533 million.

Turkish authorities have called on their citizens to sell their foreign currency in order to bolster the lira.

Some analysts said that USA tax cuts passed previous year by Congress which are boosting corporate earnings and economic growth have reinforced the reasons for raising interest rates.

"President Erdogan appears to be playing a unsafe game if he thinks he can come out on top in this spat with the USA", he commented.

A court in the western Turkish city of Izmir rejected a new appeal to free Brunson on Wednesday, the state television TRT reported. "We have other partnerships and alternative markets".

Markets have been concerned by Erdogan's influence over the economy and his resistance to interest rate increases to tackle double-digit inflation.

Earlier on Wednesday, Erdogan spoke on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Turkish presidency.

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