Turkey’s short-term external debt rises 3% m/m in April

Turkey’s short-term external debt rises 3% m/m in April
By bne IntelliNews June 15, 2017

Turkey’s short-term external debt stock rose by 3% m/m to $105.3bn at the end of April from $102.2bn at the end of March, the country's central bank said on June 15.

Turkey is heavily dependent on external borrowing due to its chronic current account deficit. Debt-financed consumption was the prime feature of the country’s remarkable economic growth achieved during much of the past decade, while the private sector’s share in total external borrowing has been on the rise in recent years. 

However, when it comes to the economic horizon, political concerns are placing sustained pressure on the outlook, creating a more challenging environment for the country’s private firms. Turkey’s corporate sector, especially when it comes to tourism enterprises, may experience difficulties in meeting liabilities. 

The short-term debt of the public sector rose by 2% m/m to $16.8bn at end-April, while the indebtedness of the private sector increased by 3% y/y to $88.4bn, with private banks’ short-term foreign borrowings having risen 3% y/y to $44.9bn.

The short-term external debt stock on a remaining maturity basis, with the calculation based on the external debt maturing within one year or less regardless of the original maturity, was $168.2bn as of end-April. Some 50.4% of the total end-April debt was comprised of US dollars and 29.7% was comprised of euro debt, according to central bank data.

The short-term debt stock declined by 4% y/y to $98bn at end-2016 compared to the $102bn recorded at end-2015.

“The outlook is clouded by heightened political uncertainty, security concerns, and the rising burden of foreign-exchange-denominated debt caused by the lira depreciation,” the IMF warned Turkey in April.

Moody’s Investors Service on March 17 lowered Turkey’s rating outlook to negative from stable, citing “the continuing erosion of the country’s institutional strength, its weaker growth outlook, heightened pressure on public and external accounts and the increased risk of a credit shock”.

Moody’s also noted that “weaker growth is negatively impacting Turkey's key credit anchor - its healthy public finances and low government debt”.