“Dubai debt crisis unlikely to affect the Turkish economy"

Today’s Zaman - International credit rating agencies, including JCR Eurasia Rating, predict that Dubai’s debt crisis will not significantly affect Turkey, thanks to Turkish banks’ strong structure and their assets in foreign countries, the Anatolia news agency has reported. The analysts noted that, despite the economic recession and expectations of a decrease in asset quality, the strong capital structure and profitability of Turkish banks will help them maintain their financial health in the near future. Drawing attention to the good financial strength ratings of Turkish banks, they stressed that the banks are performing better than their European counterparts in the face of worsening global market conditions. According to the same analysts, measures taken in previous financial and political crises are playing an important role in Turkish banks’ successful fight against the recent crisis. Having borrowed only limited amounts from international organizations, the banks were unaffected by the drop in global liquidity and the financial trouble facing the Gulf countries, they argued. Moreover, credit default swap (CDS) prices have started to fall in Turkey. In the wake of the crisis in Dubai, CDS prices in Turkey also fell below those in Greece. The analysts stressed that interest rates in Turkey have not risen much, contrary to the situation in countries such as Ukraine, Hungary and Romania, where interest rates remain high despite the fact that these countries are following International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs. In an assessment of the recent crisis in Dubai, Turkey’s Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek noted that, even though the countries with the strongest economies can still experience some difficulties, Turkey has left the worst of the crisis behind it and is showing signs of economic recovery. The minister said he believes the Turkish economy will start growing rapidly again by 2010.