International

Qatar pledges to invest £12bn in Turkey

Qatar pledges to invest £12bn in Turkey
Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (left) announced the package while meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (right).
Ankara, Aug 16 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/16/2018 1:37:02 PM IST

 Qatar pledged to invest $15 billion in Turkish financial markets and banks amid the massive collapse of its currency.

Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani announced the package while meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday.

The Gulf state made the investment as Turkey grapples with a collapse in the lira and tensions with NATO ally the United States.

The currency lost nearly 40 percent against the dollar this year, driven by worries over President Erdogan’s growing influence on the economy and his repeated calls for lower interest rates despite high inflation.

Following the announcement, the lira firmed briefly to 5.8699 from 6.04 to the U.S. dollar, but later eased back to 6.0200.

The Turkish lira rebounded some six per cent on Wednesday after the central bank squeezed lira liquidity in the market, effectively pushing up rates and supporting the currency.

Turkey and Qatar have traditionally maintained good ties and Ankara stood by Doha after Saudi Arabia and other Arab states severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar last year, accusing it of financing terrorism - a charge Doha denies.

President Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin praised Qatari-Turkish relations on Twitter. 

‘The fundamentals of the Turkish economy are robust and Turkey will emerge stronger from this process,’ he wrote.

Qatar poured funds into the country the same day Turkey doubled tariffs on some U.S. imports, such as cars, alcohol and tobacco, one day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a boycott of iPhones.

The government announced the tariffs ‘under the principle of reciprocity’, following sanctions imposed by Washington over the detention of an American pastor, which sent the lira tumbling to record lows against the dollar.

Last Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he had authorised higher tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from Turkey.

Erdogan doubled the tariffs on passenger cars to 120 per cent, on alcoholic drinks to 140 per cent and on leaf tobacco to 60 per cent. 

Tariffs were also doubled on goods such as cosmetics, rice and coal.

‘The import duties were increased on some products, under the principle of reciprocity, in response to the U.S. administration’s deliberate attacks on our economy,’ Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter.    

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