China will buy Turkey on the cheap

Source:Asia Times Date:11Aug2018

In a rambling speech to supporters today, he said that Turkey was exploring alternatives with China, Russia, and Iran. Earlier in the week, Erdogan said that Turkey would issue so-called panda bonds in China’s local-currency market.

That’s just the door prize, judging from commentary on China’s English-language television channel CGTN. The Chinese broadcaster quoted Turkish economist Emre Alkin: “Stability for the Turkish Lira will come from cooperation with valuable countries like China. It’s impossible for the Central Bank to do something alone, resources are needed. If this resource will come from China, then it will come from China, but the important thing is to make use of this resource. It is clear we need the wisdom, the ideas and the suggestions of countries like China.”

Turkey will have to sell some of the state’s most important assets. With the Turkish lira trading at 6.26 to the dollar, the whole of the Istanbul 100 equity index is worth just US$35 billion. If Chinese investors were to buy every share of every company on the stock index, Turkey would raise enough foreign exchange to cover just seven months of its current account deficit. Turkey will have to sell a great deal more than its publicly traded companies to raise the money it requires, and it will also have to tighten its belt drastically.