Markets concerned over delayed reform for Turkish debt

LONDON (Reuters) – Turkish debt underperformed in a market where all prices fell yesterday, as concerns over the country’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) pact dominated perception. On Saturday, Odd Per Brekk, the IMF representative in Turkey, said Turkey must speed up economic reforms to win the latest $500 million loan tranche. Turkey’s segment of the industry benchmark, JP Morgan’s Emerging Market Bond Index plus, was 22 basis points higher in yield at 765 basis points over Treasuries. Analysts said that Turkey’s slow progress on the reform requested by the IMF was not news, but came to the front of traders’ minds when the market as a whole had changed its tone. «The first clear sign came when the government said it was delaying Parliament’s recess to after July 1 to have the passage of the laws,» said Sonal Desai, emerging market economist at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. The government told investors in London last week that it would pass laws more slowly than the IMF wanted in order to have solid legislation rather than hastily worded measures. «Already in mid-June, they were saying they did not expect the IMF-required laws to be passed by end-June,» she said. The IMF is set to decide on the loan tranche this month, and had requested that Turkey pass many reform measures by April.

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