Turkey, Currency, Gold, Analysıs, Retailers (Legacy), Precious Metals, Currency Intervention, Analyses, Derivatives, Currencies / Foreign Exchange Markets, Interest Rates / Policy, Retailers Excl Food And Drug Specialists (Trbc), Middle East, Monetary / Fiscal Policy / Policy Makers, All Retail, Gold, Trade / Current Account, Financials (Trbc), Financials (Legacy), Central Banks / Central Bank Events, Graphics, Enterprise Reporting, Commodities News (3Rd Party), Central Bank Of The Republic Of Turkey, Turkey, Tourism / Travel

Turkey, Currency

Gold rush at Turkish bazaar a test of trust for lowly lira

Gold rush at Turkish bazaar a test of trust for lowly lira

8/14/2020 10:00:00 AM

Gold rush at Turkish bazaar a test of trust for lowly lira

Hasan Ayhan followed his wife's instructions last week and took their savings to buy gold at Istanbul's Grand Bazaar as Turks scooped up bullion worth $7 billion in a just a fortnight.

7 Min ReadISTANBUL (Reuters) - Hasan Ayhan followed his wife’s instructions last week and took their savings to buy gold at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar as Turks scooped up bullion worth $7 billion in a just a fortnight.A goldsmith wearing a protective face mask arranges golden bangles as the other talks to customers at a jewellery shop at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey, August 6, 2020. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Trump Wrote Off Ivanka Payments As 'Consulting Fees' On His Taxes: NYT Democrats Say Trump Tax Returns Report Shows His 'Disdain' For Working Families Fauci says it's 'very concerning' that Florida is re-opening bars and restaurants

With memories of a currency crisis which rocked Turkey’s economy only two years ago fresh in his mind, the retired police officer was among those playing it safe as he queued in the city’s sprawling covered market, where a screen showed the gold price rise by one Turkish lira ($0.1366) in just 10 minutes.

“I think it is the best investment right now so I converted my dollars to buy gold,” the 57-year-old said, adding: “I might withdraw my lira and buy gold with it too, but I am scared to go to the bank right now because of coronavirus.”The day after Ayhan bought his gold on Aug 6, the lira hit a historic low and has remained skittish since, laying bare concerns that Turkey’s reserves have been badly depleted by market interventions, which are showing signs of fizzling out.

Turks have traditionally used gold as savings and there may be as much as 5,000 tonnes of it “under mattresses”, with more added after the recent buying spree, Mehmet Ali Yildirimturk, deputy head of an Istanbul gold shops association, said.Although bullion has never been more expensive, vendors at the Grand Bazaar said almost no one is coming to sell their gold jewellery. There are only buyers.

“I’ve been chatting with hundreds of people who are thinking about selling their cars or houses to invest in gold,” Gunay Gunes, whose busy booth is near the market’s entrance, said.In the last three weeks, as selling gripped the lira, local holdings of hard assets such as dollars and gold jumped $15 billion to a record of nearly $220 billion.

There is no evidence suggesting people are about to pull savings from banks, and this week the lira has hovered around 7.3 versus the dollar, although it remains among the worst emerging-market performers this year.Demand has eased since Turks withdrew some $2 billion in hard foreign cash from their banks during a March-May period in which a lockdown was imposed and the lira hit its last low, according to central bank banknote data.

GOLDEN ERA?Analysts say that if Ankara cannot boost confidence in the currency, which has fallen almost 20% this year, import-heavy Turkey risks inflation and even a balance of payments crisis that will worsen fallout from the coronavirus crisis.Given foreign investors now have only a small stake in Turkish assets, they say the key for President Tayyip Erdogan’s government is convincing Turks and local businesses to stop turning to the perceived stability of dollars and gold.

In Internet Dead Zones, Rural Schools Struggle With Distanced Learning Billboard Latin Music Awards 2020: Anuel, Daddy Yankee, Pitbull & More to Perform Chrissy Teigen Hospitalized Due to Heavy Bleeding During Pregnancy

The central bank and the Treasury did not immediately comment on the dollarization trend or any policy response.Meanwhile, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law, said on Wednesday the lira’s competitiveness is more important than exchange rate volatility.

The central bank has effectively borrowed on local dollar liquidity to fuel its foreign exchange market interventions, which are meant to stabilize the lira, according to data and the calculations of traders and economists.Through Turkish state banks, which together are “short” foreign exchange by $12 billion, the central bank has sold more than $110 billion since last year, the data show.

In turn, the bank’s gross FX buffer has fallen by nearly half this year to below $47 billion, its lowest in years.For a graphic on Turks flock to forex while buffer erodes:hereThe central bank has said its reserves naturally fluctuate in stressful periods, and the Treasury says the bank intervenes at times to stabilize the currency.

But ratings agencies and investors say Ankara should take decisive steps such as an interest rate hike to rebuild reserves and restore confidence. Otherwise, rising current account deficits and possible debt defaults could tarnish a solid reputation for meeting foreign obligations.

These debt repayments are set to rise in October.“Locals don’t want to keep Turkish lira, they’ve been dollarizing and buying gold. Turks have hardly ever done that historically,” said Shamaila Khan, New York-based head of EM debt strategy at AllianceBernstein, which manages $600 billion.

“That is why you need proactive policies because if you get to that stage where locals are unwilling to keep their money in the bank then you’re heading to a balance of payments crisis. That’s when the alarm bells will start ringing,” she said.Some banks imposed fees on withdrawals this week, while the central bank has curbed cheap credit channels it had opened to ease the coronavirus fallout.

Ozuna Renews Publishing Deal With Kobalt Music Trump claims, without offering proof, he has 'very little debt' after NYT reports he owes hundreds of millions How 88rising Teamed With a Filipino Telco Giant to Develop Global Crossovers

For a graphic on Lira’s value has nearly halved since end-2017:hereFX RISKYet while lira deposits now earn more than the 8.25% policy rate, their real return is negative with inflation at 11.8%.Traders say such backdoor tightening needs to reach 11.25% to stabilize the lira, which has nearly halved in value since early 2018, sowing anxiety over diminished living standards in a country accustomed to free trade and travel.

Market expectations have risen for a formal rate hike that economists say would reinforce central bank independence, even while it could slow economic recovery.Politics may stand in the way.Erdogan, whose popularity has dipped in the polls this year, has repeated the unorthodox view that high rates cause inflation and sacked the last central bank governor for disobedience.

He said on Monday he hoped market rates would fall further.But firms such as System Denim, which imports some materials and makes clothes for foreign companies like Zara and Diesel, are feeling the pinch from rising investment costs.Slideshow(4 Images)

Owner Seref Fayat said he recently converted his 4% euro-denominated loans to lira at 10%.“No need to take on additional FX risk,” he said. “Now I pay a higher rate, but at least I can see ahead.” Read more: Reuters Top News »

Biden: The Senate 'must not act on this nomination'

President Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and the battle over the vacancy on the bench continues to shape the US election. Follow here for the latest.

UK USA Turkey Greece Cyprus NATO Down with Turkey. turks looks poor but they live in prosperity and in rich gold mines İndiremeyecekler Dindiremeyecekler Susturamayacaklar Bastıramayacaklar

Gold could head as high as $3,400, VanEck CEO says as metal pulls back from records Gold prices may hit fresh all-time highs this year as the low interest rate market environment drives demand, says Jan van Eck. ETFEdgeCNBC True but it would take a lot of idiot buyers to get it there. When’s the next round of checks coming btw? ETFEdgeCNBC Good for trading?

Gold prices plunge amid vaccine hopes and rising Treasury yields Gold prices tumbled further on Wednesday during Asia hours, after plunging to a record one-day low overnight on Tuesday. Great chance to buy more GOLD Gold (CMP $1930 an ounce; Low 1880) safe haven status re-established! The news of vaccine found for Covid 19 and the Treasury yields ^TYX 30 yrs shooting up by 8% to a month high of 1.3480! Funny how CNBC comes out of the woodwork when theres a slight dip in Gold, but when its soaring they ignore it. Talk about fake news!

‘The Gold Standard:’ Why Chinese Startups Still Flock to the U.S. for IPOsThe U.S. remains a magnet for initial public offerings of Chinese technology companies, despite rising political, trade and regulatory tensions between the world’s two largest economies. to take american money and run ...like luckin coffee... you wont see that money coming back. ;) wall street sees only commissions If U.S.-China relations are doing just fine, then something is not right. It seems like US media are becoming Chinese mouthpieces and secretly working on turning US into communist country.

TV Producer Terrence Woods Vanished While Filming On The ‘Gold Rush’ Franchise For Discovery. Two Years Later, His Parents Are Desperate For Answers.It’s a story that sounds like it belongs in a This American Life podcast. A young TV producer mysteriously vanishes while filming on the Gold Rush franchise for Discovery in the abandoned min… It's a very strange story but the conspiracies around it make less sense than the situation as described by witnesses. There was probably something wrong with him. My cousin, before she was diagnosed with schizophrenia, acted 'strange' until suddenly she went full-destructive. Sounds similar to what happened to me on a a shoot I was on about five years ago. Out in the middle of nowhere, bullied by the crew. Ended up having my own little breakdown and was sent home early. I hadn’t shown any signs of mental instability until then either... I'm wondering if I was on set and someone took off their walkie and started running down a cliff would anyone chase after them?

Turkey's plummeting lira could have further to fall, analysts sayThe Turkish lira has depreciated rapidly since the turn of the year, recently notching its weakest ever level against the dollar, but analysts suggest the risks are still skewed to the downside. Remember a few years back when we thought a plummeting Lira could set off a financial catastrophe... were we so innocent then? Turkish economy and currency will collapse because the president Erodgan use all the sources to fight his neighbours and he dictator and stole the oil from Iraq and Syria and he is after Lybia bitcoin

TV Producer Terrence Woods Vanished While Filming On The ‘Gold Rush’ Franchise For Discovery. Two Years Later, His Parents Are Desperate For Answers.It’s a story that sounds like it belongs in a This American Life podcast. A young TV producer mysteriously vanishes while filming on the Gold Rush franchise for Discovery in the abandoned min… It's a very strange story but the conspiracies around it make less sense than the situation as described by witnesses. There was probably something wrong with him. My cousin, before she was diagnosed with schizophrenia, acted 'strange' until suddenly she went full-destructive. Sounds similar to what happened to me on a a shoot I was on about five years ago. Out in the middle of nowhere, bullied by the crew. Ended up having my own little breakdown and was sent home early. I hadn’t shown any signs of mental instability until then either... I'm wondering if I was on set and someone took off their walkie and started running down a cliff would anyone chase after them?