Turkey got its $3 billion from Qatar, columnist says

Turkey’s central bank received $3 billion in currency swaps from Qatar last week, said Uğur Gürses, who specialises in writing on the country’s economy and financial markets.

Central bank data shows that the cash arrived on Sept. 6, Gürses said on his website.

Turkey has sought capital from Qatar and other nations as it attempts to steady its embattled lira currency, which has dived about 40 percent against the dollar this year.

Gürses, former columnist for Hürriyet newspaper, said the $3 billion increase in the central bank’s reserves was accompanied by a corresponding rise in its net foreign currency position, which climbed to $30.4 billion from $27.4 billion.

The growth in reserves means the central bank either bought $3 billion or carried out a foreign currency swap. But the Treasury is the only institution that could have provided cash and its accounts show little change, Gürses said. Therefore, it received the capital injection via a swap transaction, he said.

The central bank would have received the money in Qatari riyal and, in return, probably deposited lira in the Qatari central bank. This means there is no real increase in the central bank’s overall reserves, rather the inflow of foreign funds is more for show, he said.

Gürses referred to a statement by the central bank on Aug. 20, which said that the swap agreement was designed to help trade between the two countries and ensure their financial stability.