UPDATES WITH OFFICIAL RESERVES FIGURES
By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
ANKARA (AA) – The Central Bank of Turkey aims to reinforce and effectively manage the country’s reserves, consistent with a steady rise, the bank's governor said Thursday.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Murat Cetinkaya said the bank continues to decisively implement its reserve-building policy.
"Although reserves may fluctuate due to periodic factors, there has been a consistent uptrend in reserves in the medium term," Cetinkaya said.
"Over the last week, our gross reserves have increased across all items by $4.3 billion and by March 27 reached $96.7 billion.
"During the same period, our net reserves also rose $2.4 billion to $28.6 billion," he added.
Early Thursday, the bank reported that its official reserves reached $100.1 billion as of the end of February.
Total reserve assets climbed 3.4 percent in February, up from $96.7 billion at the end of January.
Foreign currency reserves amounted to $77.6 billion in convertible foreign currencies, rising 3.7 percent over the same period.
Gold reserves surged 2.8 percent to $21 billion including gold deposits and, if appropriate, gold swapped.
On a yearly basis, the bank's official reserves posted a 12.6 percent fall, as at the end of February 2018 the amount was $114.5 billion.
In December 2013, the bank's total reserves hit all-time peak of nearly $136 billion, including some $21 billion in gold reserves.
Thursday's report also said short-term predetermined net drains of the central government and the bank climbed 5.6 percent on a monthly basis, reaching $13.7 billion in February.
"Of this amount, $9.1 billion belongs to principal repayments and $4.6 billion to interest repayments.
"Regarding the maturity breakdown of the principal and interest payments, $2.7 billion is due in one month, $2.5 billion in 2-3 months, $8.5 billion in 4-12 months," the bank said.
In February, contingent short-term net drains on foreign currency were $31.8 billion, a 4.1 percent decline month-on-month.
According to the bank's definition, the contingent short-term net drains on foreign currency consist of “collateral guarantees on debt due within one year” and “other contingent liabilities," which are the banking sector’s required reserves in blocked accounts in foreign currency and gold, and the letters of credit items on the Central Bank’s balance sheet.