Erdogan takes wheel of Turkish wealth fund

Turkish lira gains value against US dollar

He also criticised Turkey's central bank, accusing it of failing to control inflation and urging it to cut interest rates just hours ahead of a its announcement that it was raising rates to 24%.

Ignoring calls for restraint from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the bank raised its main short-term rate from 17.5% following weeks of pressure from worldwide investors.

The $50 billion-worth wealth fund (TVF) was set up in 2016 by the government to develop and increase the value of Turkey's strategic assets and provide resources for investment.

Argentina agreed a loan earlier in the summer with the IMF and only last month called on the Washington-based lender to release the funds earlier to to ease concerns that the country would not be able to meet its debt obligations over the next year.

The lira's deterioration has affected the currencies of other emerging markets as investors sought refuge within the dollar.

The Turkish lira has lost more than 75% of its value against the dollar since January, pushing up the cost of a wide variety of goods.

The currency rose to touch 6.3673 per dollar, the highest since August 29.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has appointed himself chairman of the country's sovereign wealth fund and completely changed its board, naming Finance Minister Berat Albayrak as his deputy, the country's Official Gazette said on Wednesday.

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Turkey's currency and inflationary troubles are also compounded by the threat of steel and aluminium tariffs from the USA as well as sanctions over the detention of an American evangelical pastor.

"It nearly seems like it's a game of "good cop, bad cop" being played out between the Turkish authorities - with President Erdogan on the one hand still making statements regarding his dislike of interest rates and. a very sizeable reaction from the central bank in response to the recent inflationary and geopolitical developments", she said. Growth slowed to an annual rate of 5.2% in the second quarter, from the first quarter's 7.4%.

There had been indications from the bank that it would raise rates after inflation came in at almost 18 per cent in August, according to official data last week.

He criticised the central bank, saying it had consistently miscalculated inflation targets and again portrayed the currency crisis as a foreign conspiracy.

Turkey ruled on Thursday that property sales, rental contracts and leasing transactions must be made in lira from now on, halting the use of foreign currencies for such deals in a fresh step to support the ailing local currency.

"Obviously, it will have negative consequences on the economy but, I would say, it is less important if you have a hard landing than big corporate defaults due to a vicious cycle between (lira) depreciation and inflation", he said.

The independence of monetary policy has been in doubt since Erdogan pledged in his election campaign this year to take on a greater role to bring interest rates lower.

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