ECONOMY

Turkish debt market holds out

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey yesterday brushed aside investor fears of market fallout from the suicide bombings of two synagogues over the weekend when it beat market expectations in the latest set of auctions of its domestic debt. While analysts welcomed the auction results, they said bond yields at similar auctions could rise in the coming weeks if an anticipated central bank cut in interest rates does not materialize. The treasury sold a net 2,001.5 trillion lira ($1.36 billion) in 168-day and 392-day debt at lower-than-expected yields after it sold almost $1 billion in lira bonds with a two-year maturity on Monday. Investors had worried that Turkey’s markets could dip sharply, stifling demand for its massive domestic debt load, after the attacks which killed 25 people and injured 300. «If the market understands that a rate cut is not on the immediate agenda then there could be a backlash (as a result of the suicide bombings),» said Volkan Kurt at ABN Amro in Istanbul. The central bank has slashed overnight rates six times since April as it seeks to ease the treasury’s onerous servicing burden. Many investors expect the central bank to cut rates after a religious holiday and possibly following November inflation data, due for release on December 3. Turkey’s stock market is closed next week to mark a religious holiday, while the lira and debt markets close next Monday afternoon and reopen Friday of the same week.