ECONOMY

Turk markets nervous

Istanbul (Reuters) – Turkey’s lira extended 11-month highs yesterday and stocks crept up after two Treasury auctions, but debt prices slipped ahead of this week’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) review of the country’s $16 billion pact. The lira closed at 1,460,000 to the dollar on the interbank market from 1,492,500, above levels reached earlier this month ahead of a central bank intervention to buy dollars. The main stock index ended the day up 1.17 percent at 10,427 points, but yields on heavily traded May 26, 2004 papers weakened to 53.5 percent from Friday’s 52.09 percent. Markets were closed on Monday for a holiday. Investors are nervous about the government’s slow progress on reforms, including the implementation of a public procurement law and legislation easing foreign investment. A number of other deadlines for action have also been missed. «There is concern about whether there will be hitches (in the IMF review),» said Utku Yarpuzlu at Vakif Investment. The IMF’s representative yesterday urged the government to fulfill overdue pledges to maintain a recent rally in debt prices.