Rating agency Fitch keeps Turkey’s credit status at “BB-” and revises outlook from “negative” to “stable”.

Men walk past the headquarters of Fitch Ratings in New York, NY, February 6, 2013.
Men walk past the headquarters of Fitch Ratings in New York, NY, February 6, 2013. (AFP)

US-based global credit body Fitch Ratings has revised Turkey's outlook from "negative" to "stable".

"Turkey's return to a more consistent and orthodox policy mix under a new economic team has helped ease near-term external financing risks derived from last year's falling international reserves, a high current account deficit and deteriorating investor confidence," the company said on Friday.

The agency highlighted that the Turkish central bank, under its new leadership, has simplified monetary policy to improve transparency and predictability, strengthened its communication strategy and increased its tightening by raising interest rates by 675 basis points during the months of November and December.

"Authorities have also reversed previous regulatory measures to rein in rapid credit growth," it said, adding international reserves have also stabilised and recovered slightly.

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While Fitch said Turkey's credit rating is supported by moderate levels of government and household debt, large and diversified economy with a vibrant private sector, it pointed out to weak external finances, economic volatility, high inflation, increased dollarization, in addition to political and geopolitical risks.

Turkey's current account deficit is expected to fall to 2.9 percent in 2021 and 2.1 percent of GDP in 2022, from 5.3 percent in 2020, due to slower domestic demand and reduced gold imports, according to Fitch.

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Although Turkey's banking sector is vulnerable to exchange rate volatility, the banking system has demonstrated relative resilience to the Covid-19 pandemic and financial markets shock last year, and it has sufficient foreign currency liquidity to meet short-term external debt, it added.

Fitch said Turkey's credit rating could be upgraded if there is a reduction in external vulnerabilities, decline in inflation, monetary policy credibility is rebuilt, and geopolitical risks are reduced.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies