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Turkey Deserves Ratings Upgrade Says Leading Figure

Posted on 16 June 2011

Turkey has long deserved an ratings upgrade, after its performance throughout the financial crisis, as well as its being one of the most stable economies in Europe and the world in its aftermath. These are not our words, but those of Vedat Akgiray, the chief of the Capital Markets Board of Turkey.

“As the countries around Turkey are seeing rate decreases by the international rating agencies, Turkey’s ratings remain the same, which is also a sign for the country’s bright future,” Akgiray told the Hürriyet Daily News on the sidelines of the Banking Business Forum 2011 organized by Banking Association for Central and Eastern Europe, or BACEE.

Agirikay said that the election on Sunday, which brought the ruling Justice and Development Party back in for a third term with a convincing 49.9% of the votes means that there is no excuse not to increase Turkey’s ratings now.

“There is not much excuse that the rating agencies could bring up now, it is time to increase the rates.”

Turkey is currently rated Ba2, two levels below investment grade by Moody’s who give it a “positive outlook”. The other two major ratings agencies both have Turkey one step below investment grade, also with a positive outlook, with Standard and Poor rating Turkey BB, and Fitch BB+.

“The control over the credit growth has already helped Turkey to slow down the growth of the current account deficit,” said Akgiray noting that “we will see the benefits of curbing the loan growth in the markets, mainly in third quarter of the year.” Year to date total loan growth reached 13.9 percent as of June 3, implying a 33 percent growth rate for the year according to official data.

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