Turkey slats Moody’s downgrade, questions company’s objectivity

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Moody’s decision to downgrade Turkey’s credit rating is incompatible with fundamental indicators, Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Ministry said, adding that the country will never abandon free-market principles.

The downgrade “raises questions” about the objectivity of the credit-rating company’s analysis, Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Ministry said in a statement early Saturday. Moody’s Investors Service cut Turkey’s long-term issuer rating to B1 from Ba3 on Friday, citing an increasing risk of a balance-of-payments crisis and a government default.

Rebuffing Moody’s statement on weak foreign exchange reserve buffers, the Treasury and Finance Ministry said the level of debt to reserves is higher in some emerging-market countries that have a better credit rating than Turkey.

“Foreign exchange reserve buffers are weak and Moody’s expects them to weaken further over the next two years relative to economy-wide short-term liabilities,” Moody’s said.

The ministry said it is “sad” that the rating company ignored developments including the Judicial Reform Strategy Program, completion of the recapitalization of state lenders, a deceleration trend in inflation and an increase in tourism income.

“Since 2003, Turkey’s main economic policy has been to follow free-market principles,” and the country will “never abandon” a floating currency, the free flow of capital and its support of entrepreneurship, the ministry said.

source: Bloomberg

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