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Jan 18 2019

Turkish central bank chief says early AGM was purely legal response

Turkish Central Bank Governor Murat Çetinkaya said the bank decided to bring forward its annual general meeting to January in order to adhere with new laws requiring companies to hold them in the first three months of the year.

The new legal requirement was the only reason that the central bank rescheduled the meeting from April, Çetinkaya said, according to news website Sputnik.

Turkey’s central bank is distributing its annual profits three months earlier than planned at the meeting, which was held on Friday. The decision precedes nationwide local elections on March 31, in which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is aiming to retain its control of major cities such as Istanbul and Ankara despite a severe downturn in the economy.

The central bank will distribute 90 percent of its 2018 profits forthwith, Çetinkaya said. The government says the bank’s income, which amounts to 37 billion liras, will be used by the Treasury to ensure market liquidity. Analysts have speculated that the cash will be used to persuade the electorate to vote for the AKP.