Erdogan Vows to `Deal' With Interest Rates After Vote, AA Says

(Bloomberg) -- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged followers to give him another five-year term in Sunday’s election so he can lower interest rates, adding to earlier vows to tighten his grip on monetary policy that rattled investors and sent the currency tumbling.

Lending costs are hovering around 25 percent and must be brought down to encourage investment, Erdogan told a group of businessmen in the southern province of Adana late Tuesday, according to state news agency Anadolu.

Erdogan Vows to `Deal' With Interest Rates After Vote, AA Says

“You will see how we deal with interest rates and other things once you give me the authority,” Erdogan was cited as saying. “We have to take steps to lower interest rates if we want to strengthen investors.”

Erdogan told Bloomberg in an interview last month that he would seek a bigger role in setting monetary policy following the elections. Those comments sent the lira falling to consecutive lows against the dollar as sentiment toward Turkish assets soured. By the time the Turkish central bank announced an emergency rate hike on May 23, the currency’s losses this year against the dollar had exceeded 20 percent.

On Wednesday, the lira was down 20 percent on the year, slipping 0.2 percent to 4.7511 per dollar at 9:05 a.m. in Istanbul.

For more on Erdogan’s remarks in London, read: Erdogan Intends to Tighten Grip on Turkish Economy, Rate Policy

Central bank Governor Murat Cetinkaya and Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek later traveled to London to reassure investors that prudent policies would be pursued, in an effort to restore confidence in the Middle East’s largest economy.

“Some say, ‘Mr. President, don’t say such things before the elections,’” Erdogan told the businesmen. “We will say whatever the truth is.”

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