Turkish companies ‘facing writedowns from open FX positions due to lira weakness’

By bne IntelIiNews October 5, 2020

Turkish business daily Dunya on October 5 published an analysis listing Turkish companies that are already facing writedowns from open foreign currency positions due to lira weakness.

At the head of the list was landline phone monopoly Turk Telekom, run by the Turkey Weath Fund (TWF), the government’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF).

Turk Telekom is likely to post Turkish lira (TRY) 911mn ($118mn) of currency losses for the third quarter, the newspaer said, citing research by state-run investment firm Ziraat Yatirim. Vestel Elektronik, one of Turkey’s biggest appliance makers, was next on the list with probable costs of TRY873mn. Turkish Airlines may post losses of TRY206mn, according to the daily’s report.

The lira reached a record low of 7.8669 against the US dollar last week, taking its losses to around 25% in the year to date. In the past decade it has lost 80% of its value.

Foreign exchange debts of corporates coming due in the remainder of the year are becoming more expensive to repay as the lira declines. The private sector is facing repayments of almost $10bn in the next two months.

“Further lira depreciation would distort corporate balance sheets more and thus would have a negative impact on investment prospects,” Ugras Ulku, head of emerging Europe research at the Institute of International Finance (IIF), was reported as saying by Reuters.

At the same time, more spending is key to improving Turkey’s industrial productivity, employment, exports and overall competitiveness, Ulku added.

The weakening lira has also meant that Turkey, almost entirely dependent on imports for oil and gas, has failed to take full advantage of a slump in oil prices.

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