Erdogan appoints himself chairman of Turkey's sovereign wealth fund

Turkish lira gains value against US dollar

The bank said it was hiking its main interest rate by 625 basis points to 24 per cent, double the market consensus for the raise.

"Turkey's Wealth Fund has appointed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as its new chairman, according to a notification in the Official Gazette", state news agency Anadolu said. The rate hike could squeeze growth further, but independent experts say it is needed to contain inflation of about 18% and support the currency.

Its monetary committee chose to "implement strong monetary tightening to support price stability", it said on Thursday, as it raised interest rates by 625 basis points in the face of a spike in inflation and a slump in the lira.

Erdogan again described interest rates as a "tool of exploitation" but vowed that "we can not be taken advantage of".

Following the news, the Turkish lira rose 5 percent in value against the USA dollar, reversing its 42-percent fall this year against the American currency.

In another bid to prop up the lira, Erdogan earlier on Thursday ordered by decree that property agreements in foreign currencies would not be allowed.

TRT World's Turkey analyst Yusuf Erim has more.

"Tight stance in monetary policy will be maintained decisively until inflation outlook displays a significant improvement".

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The decision came despite Erdogan repeating his opposition to high interest rates earlier in the day, saying high inflation was a result of the central bank's wrong steps. In one direction it could hear the siren call of investors craving higher interest rates to draw a line in the inflationary sand and stop the lira's collapse.

The embattled currency has fallen by 40% this year amid a lack of interest rate hikes to control inflation.

Inflation also soared this month to a 15-year high of nearly 18%.

The bank later said funding would be provided via the policy rate, the one week repo auction rate, instead of through overnight lending from September 14.

The lira has plunged in recent weeks on concerns over domestic policymaking and a crisis in relations with the United States.

Relations with the U.S. deteriorated last month after Washington imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the detention of an American pastor and President Donald Trump doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey.

"Great decision - made all the more hard by the huge pressure on the central bank from Erdogan", said Bluebay Asset Management LLC strategist Tim Ash.

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