Jul 20 2018

Albayrak attends G-20 in first trip as Turkish economy chief

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, the son-in law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is traveling to Buenos Aires on Friday for his first official trip in his new role.

Albayrak will be attending the G-20 summit of industrialised nations in the Argentinian capital with Turkish Central Bank Governor Murat Cetinkaya, Hurriyet newspaper reported.

The summit, which is being held on July 21-22, is expected to focus on tightening global market conditions and their impact on individual economies, Hurriyet said.

Investors are looking to Albayrak, 40, to bring responsible, independent leadership to Turkey’s $880 billion economy amid concern that Erdogan is tightening his grip on decision-making following his re-election on June 24. Turkish financial markets are showing significant signs of stress after Erdogan introduced measures to boost growth and said he planned to lower interest rates.

The trip comes after Albayrak appointed Bulent Aksu, the chief financial officer of Turkcell, Turkey’s largest mobile phone company, to his economic team. Aksu provided creative solutions to ensure that Turkcell grew its business on solid financial foundations, CEO Kaan Terzioğlu said upon the announcement.  

The lira slumped last week, dropping to a fresh record low of 4.98 per dollar, when Erdogan announced that Albayrak would be running the Treasury and Finance Ministry, replacing two former ministers who were highly regarded by investors. He is expected to meet with investors in London in the coming days to set out his economic agenda.

Albayrak, married to Erdogan’s daughter Esra, previously served as energy minister and CEO of Calik Holding, a Turkish conglomerate with interests in energy, construction, finance and the media.

Erdogan also spooked markets last Monday when he issued a decree giving himself sole authority to appoint the central bank governor and his deputies and reduced the governor's term in office to four years from five. Cetinkaya's term is now due to expire in 2020.