21 Nov 2008

Turkey seeking IMF funds

11:00 am on 21 November 2008

Turkey is reportedly close to a deal with the International Monetary Fund to draw $US20 - $US40 billion in funds if needed to weather the global credit crisis.

Iceland, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia and Latvia have already sought aid from the IMF.

A $US10 billion stand-by loan accord expired in May. It was part of a series of loan programmes which helped Turkey get through a financial crisis in 2001.

Turkey has around $US100 billion of external debt falling due over the next 12 months and an estimated current account deficit of $US35 billion for 2009. Foreign exchange reserves amount to $US74 billion.

In a surprise move, the central bank announced interest rate cuts on Wednesday evening.

The Turkish currency, the lira, has lost a third of its value since early October.