Tuesday December 21, 2021

Lira Plunges Again After Erdogan Rules Out Higher Interest Rates

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s troubled lira shed a further five per cent against the dollar on Monday after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cited Muslim teachings to justify not raising interest rates to stabilise the currency.

Erdogan has pushed the central bank to sharply lower borrowing costs despite the annual rate of inflation soaring to more than 20pc.

Economists believe the policy could see consumer price increases reach 30pc or higher in the coming months.

But Erdogan said in remarks aired by state television late on Sunday that his Muslim faith prevented him from supporting rate hikes.

“They complain we keep decreasing the interest rate. Don’t expect anything else from me,” he said in the televised comments.

“As a Muslim, I will continue doing what our religion tells us. This is the command.”

Islamic teaching forbids Muslims from receiving or charging interest on loaned or borrowed money.

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