Turkey accepts seven billion dollar IMF-backed debt swap

Published June 18th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

A seven billion dollar (€8.1 billion) debt swap aimed at bailing out the Turkish economy will go ahead after receiving nine billion dollars in bids, Turkish Economy Minister Kemal Dervis said Sunday. 


"We received around nine billion dollars in bids but the project will go ahead at the level of seven billion dollars," the man charged with rescuing the country's economy in the wake of a financial crisis in February told a press conference. 


The treasury did not specify a maximum target for the operation backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but had said that it could be cancelled if the bids fell under 3,000 trillion lira ($2.6 billion). 


"This debt swap will have a favorable impact on the public finances and will be beneficial for the treasury and the banks," Dervis said. 


The tender on Friday attracted more bidders than expected, Anatolia news agency earlier quoted unnamed officials as saying. While easing the treasury's debt burden, the swap will also help banks cover foreign exchange positions. 


Turkish banks have run up significant losses on lira-based papers after financial turmoil in February caused the currency to lose about 40 percent of its value against the dollar, adding to a severe cash crunch in November. ― (AFP, Ankara) 


© Agence France Presse 2001

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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