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05ANKARA110 2005-01-07 16:13:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

Turkey: New Bond Issue Signals Increasing

Tags:   EFIN TU 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

071613Z Jan 05
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 000110 




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Turkey: New Bond Issue Signals Increasing

1. (SBU) Summary: Amid signs of increased foreign
investor interest in Turkish lira assets, especially
longer maturities, the World Bank has issued a 5-year
Turkish Lira bond. Turkish financial officials are not
concerned the new instrument would compete with
Government paper. The World Bank issuance helps to
develop Turkish financial markets and pave the way for
longer-dated Turkish government issues which reduce
dependence on rolling over short-term debt -- a key
remaining element of Turkey's continuing vulnerability to
sudden shifts in market confidence. End Summary.

2. (U) The IBRD (World Bank) issued a 5-year Aaa/AAA
rating Turkish Lira annuity note of 70,000,000 new
Turkish Lira ($50.7 million) through Citibank on December
23, with January 7, 2005 settlement date and 15% coupon
yield. The issuance is significant in several respects:
it takes the lira yield curve out 2 years further than
the 3-year bond which Turkish Treasury only introduced in
October; it is a rare lira issuance by an investment-
grade borrower not based in Turkey; and it yields a
substantially lower rate that any existing lira paper.

3. (SBU) The issuance of the World Bank notes is probably
related to signs of increased appetite for Turkish assets
by foreign investors. With positive prospects from a new
IMF agreement, a date to begin accession negotiations
from the EU and continuing positive macroeconomic
performance, Central Bank Markets department Director-
General Cigdem Kose told econ specialist that Turkish
markets were attracting a broader base of prospective
portfolio investors. Following Treasury's successful
$500 million Eurobond issuance in November, Kose said
that IBRD -- and even JP Morgan -- were interested in
issuing Turkish Lira instruments for foreign investors.
She said that the IBRD Turkish Lira note issuance on
December 23 signaled a new customer profile for Turkish
markets, i.e. investors that would like to enjoy high
Turkish Lira yields without taking country risk. For
example, Kose said a Canadian investment company named TD
Securities visited the Central bank recently and said it
would be introducing new customers to Turkish markets.

4. (SBU) Volkan Taskin, DG for domestic debt at the
Turkish Treasury told econ specialist that the Treasury
welcomes such developments since they share the view that
Turkish Lira note issuance can help them to extend the
yield curve for lira debt instruments. Taskin said at
this stage Turkish Treasury was not capable of reaching
out to all customers like those who would like to invest
in Turkish Lira instrument without any country risk, or
those whose investment criteria is limited to certain
level of rating. Taskin said the IBRD issuance would
also help deepen the market in lira instruments and he
has heard that there could be other similar issuances

5. (SBU) Kose's Deputy, Emrah Eksi, also said that after
December 17, the CBT tracked about a capital inflow of
about $1 billion into Turkey and since May 2004, the CBT
noted a $500 million and $1 billion increase in USD and
Euro accounts in banking system.

6. (SBU) World Bank Financial Economist Rodrigo Chavez
confirmed that the issuance was done in cooperation with
the Turkish Treasury under an umbrella agreement in place
since 2002. The issuance is part of a program by the
World Bank to issue notes in "non-core" (i.e. emerging
market) currencies. Chavez said the buyers of this paper
are small banks in Western Europe who are interested in
Turkish lira yields but are constrained by regulatory
requirements from buying lower-rated Turkish country

7. (SBU) Comment: The World Bank issuance is modest in
size, and has no direct impact on the government's debt
situation. On the other hand, coming at a time of
increased investor interest in Turkey, it demonstrates
that even conservative investors are interested in
Turkish Lira assets, if not Turkish country risk. By
going out five years (i.e. extending the yield curve), it
may help pave the way for longer-dated issues by the GOT
which help reduce the government's dependence on rolling
over its mostly short-term domestic debt, which is the
major factor in Turkey's continuing financial
vulnerability to financial crises resulting from short-
term swings in markets.