Qatar promises $15 billion investment in Turkey

Darnell Taylor
August 17, 2018

In a sign the conflict is far from over, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said USA tariffs announced last week will stay in place regardless of whether an American pastor detained in Turkey is freed.

The new Turkish tariffs came a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country would boycott US electronic goods, singling out Apple's iPhones.

But many analysts say the only way for the authorities to show they are really serious about tackling Turkey´s economic problems - which include inflation approaching some 16 percent - would be a sharp rate hike.

Qatar pledged on Wednesday 15 billion (Dh 55bn) of direct investment into Turkey, amid a diplomatic spat between Ankara and Washington that has triggered a Turkish currency crisis.

The Turkish lira has been falling in value for months, but last week it plummeted 20 percent because of a dispute with Washington over Andrew Brunson, the evangelical pastor from North Carolina. "Turkish-Qatari relations are based on solid foundations of true friendship and solidarity", he said.

The investment, which will be directed to Turkey's banks and financial markets, was announced after Qatar's Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani held talks in Ankara with Erdogan.

Additionally, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday visited Ankara, where he said Moscow has been exploring for some time using national currencies to settle bilateral trade deals with Turkey and other countries.

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"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 lira had already rebounded about 8 percent on Tuesday on news of a planned conference call on Thursday in which the finance minister will seek to reassure worldwide investors.

In another high-profile case, a Turkish court ruled on August 15 to release from jail Taner Kilic, the local chair of Amnesty International, a researcher from the rights group said.

Erdogan has warned Turkey could seek alternative partners pointing to Ankara´s strong ties with Russia, Iran and China.

President Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey was taking measures to stabilise its economy and should not "give in to the enemy" by investing in foreign currencies.

"They are squeezing lira liquidity out of the system now and pushing interest rates higher", Cristian Maggio, head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities, said.

Brunson has been detained for almost two years in Turkey.

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