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Moody's Downgrades Turkey's Rating to B2, Negative Outlook

Moody's Downgrades Turkey's Rating to B2, Negative Outlook

Saturday, 12 September, 2020 - 17:30
People walk on Istiklal Avenue, one of the main shopping streets in Istanbul, Turkey, during the coronavirus outbreak, May 15, 2020. (AP)

Credit ratings agency Moody’s has cut Turkey’s debt ratings and said it maintained a negative outlook on the country.


Moody’s Investors Services said in a statement late Friday that it downgraded the Turkish government's issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings to B2 from B1. It cited a potential balance of payment crisis, institutional problems and the erosion of fiscal buffers in Turkey.


“Turkey’s foreign-currency reserves have been drifting downward for years on both a gross and a net basis but are now at a multi-decade low as a percentage of GDP because of the central bank’s unsuccessful attempts to defend the lira since the beginning of 2020,” the ratings agency said.


The statement also attributed the downgrade to “elevated levels of geopolitical risk,” including relations with the United States and the European Union. NATO allies Turkey and Greece are at odds over maritime resources in the eastern Mediterranean, where both countries have deployed warships and air force units.


Speaking Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country’s economy was at its peak.


“No matter what you do, your ratings don’t count for anything,” Erdogan said, referring to rating agencies.


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