On the back of developments in recent months, Barings’ Emerging Europe equities team takes a look at how Turkey is positioned.
Turkey’s financial system has suffered a tumultuous year which has seen the country’s lira fall by more than 35% since the start of 2018 and the stock market nearly halve.1 The prioritization of high economic growth rates by President Erdogan, in addition to elevated energy prices, saw the country’s current account deficit expand to approximately 6% of GDP, the highest of any emerging market (EM). Investor confidence remains subdued following the combination of creeping fiscal indiscipline and excessively loose monetary policy. Additionally, serious questions are being asked of the central bank’s ability to conduct independent monetary policy under the shadow of Erdogan, despite a rapid increase in inflation. In our view, Turkey now needs to enact strong measures to anchor these severe inflationary pressures, which should help to build a more solid foundation for sustainable growth going forward.
Stability builds trust
Turkish policy makers and politicians recognize that the successful stabilization of the lira will enable the country to rebuild trust with markets and curb inflation from spiraling out of control, in our view. Since May, there has been a synchronized monetary and fiscal response through significant rate hikes, which is a departure from previous growth-oriented, fiscally expansive plans.
- September 30, 2018, based on MSCI Turkey