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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Turkey's lira slides

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Turkey's lira slid to a record low and bond yields briefly touched their highest in at least eight years on Tuesday, after President Tayyip Erdogan said he plans to take greater control of the economy after elections next month. Erdogan's comments, in an interview with Bloomberg Television in London, reinforced long-standing concerns about the president's drive to shape monetary policy and blunt the central bank's ability to rein in double-digit inflation.

He said the central bank was independent but would not be able to ignore signals from the head of the executive once the switch to a presidential system was complete following the June vote. "I will take the responsibility as the indisputable head of the executive in respect of the steps to be taken and decisions on these issues," he said in the interview broadcast on Tuesday.

Turkey has called snap presidential and parliamentary elections for June 24 and polls show Erdogan as the strongest candidate to win the presidential vote. Turks narrowly backed a switch to an executive presidency in a referendum last year. That change is due to go into effect after the vote.

His comments helped pushed the ailing lira TRYTOM=D3 to a fresh record low of 4.3990 against the dollar, bringing its losses this year to more than 13 percent.

-Reuters, Istanbul

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