© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Turkey’s Central Bank headquarters is seen in Ankara, Turkey in this January 24, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Umit Bektas//File Photo
LONDON (Reuters) – Turkey’s new central bank governor Hafize Gaye Erkan delivered a smaller-than-expected interest rate hike at her first rate meeting on Thursday, sending the lira and the country’s dollar-denominated sovereign bonds sharply lower.
The bank lifted its key rate 650 basis points to 15% compared to the median of 21% expected in a Reuters poll.
Below are comments from analysts:
PIOTR MATYS, SENIOR FX ANALYST, IN TOUCH CAPITAL MARKETS
“Many market participants are likely to interpret today’s decision as an indication that Governor Erkan has limited room for manoeuvre in restoring orthodoxy in monetary policy.”
“One could argue that it will take time to restore shattered confidence, but it would be more efficient to exceed expectations if Governor Erkan wants to convince investors that she is in charge of monetary policy and not President Erdogan.”
PETER KISLER, EM PORTFOLIO MANAGER, TRIUM CAPITAL
“It is slightly disappointing because they telegraphed 16%-18% so I would have thought it would have been in that sort of range.”
“On the other hand they are promising more tightening ahead… so you have to give them the benefit of the doubt.”
“It would have been better if it was a bit higher but it’s going in the right direction.”
JON HARRISON, MANAGING DIRECTOR EMERGING MARKET MACRO STRATEGY, TS LOMBARD
“It seems many in the market were already prepared for a lower than expected rate hike, so while there was a sharp knee jerk reaction the market seems to have calmed down now.”
“I am more worried about the medium-term outlook which is likely to see further lira depreciation. The central bank has promised a gradual approach to tightening, but the high level of inflation and the need to rebuild lost credibility really warrants more robust action.”
TIM ASH, EM SENIOR SOVEREIGN STRATEGIST, BLUEBAY ASSET MANAGEMENT
“Ouch – disappointing. Not enough. They needed to front load hikes. Market won’t like that. I thought they would have learned from the Cetinkaya period.”