Galatasaray, UEFA to discuss reviewed agreement

By Fatih Erel

ISTANBUL (AA) – Galatasaray chief Mustafa Cengiz will meet with UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin on Thursday to discuss the reviewed settlement agreement with the Turkish soccer club over its financial situation.

The meeting will take place in the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

On Friday, Galatasaray's case was referred back to the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) Investigatory Chamber.

"[The CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber] …announced today its decision to refer the case back to the CFCB Investigatory Chamber for further investigation. Meanwhile, the settlement agreement concluded on 13 June, 2018 remains in force, until further notice," UEFA said on Friday.

On June 13, UEFA and Galatasaray reached a four-year settlement agreement which covers the seasons 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 as the club was not in compliance with the break-even requirement.

According to the agreement, Galatasaray would limit the number of players, pay a fine to UEFA and reduce the spending to reach full break-even compliance.

Galatasaray had undertaken to reach full break-even compliance by the monitoring period 2021/22 and agreed to report a maximum break-even deficit as reported in its forecast for the financial year ending in 2018, €20 million ($24 million) in financial year ending in 2019, and €10 million ($12 million) for the financial year ending in 2020.

Galatasaray had also accepted that it would be subject to a limitation on the number of players that it may include on the list for the purposes of participation in UEFA competitions.

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EU posts nearly $5B trade deficit in January-July

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – The European Union foreign trade balance posted a deficit of €4.1 billion ($4.96 billion) in the first seven months of 2018, according to the EU's statistical office on Friday.

This January to July, the EU’s exports of goods totaled some €1.127 trillion ($1.363 trillion) with an annual hike of 3.6 percent, and the 28-member bloc's imports from the rest of the world amounted to nearly €1.131 trillion ($1.368 trillion), up 4.5 percent on a yearly basis.

"As a result, the EU28 recorded a deficit of €4.1 billion, compared with a surplus of €6.3 billion in January-July 2017," Eurostat said.

"Intra-EU28 trade rose to €2.05 trillion in January-July 2018, plus 5.6 percent compared with January-July 2017," the statistical office added.

One euro was exchanged for $1.21 on average in the January-July period in 2018, while the average EUR/USD exchange rate was around 1.09 in the same period last year.

Eurostat data revealed that exports to the U.S. — €232.2 billion ($280.9 billion) — accounted for 20.6 percent of the EU's total exports in the seven-month period, making the U.S. top export market for the bloc.

In the list of the EU’s major export markets, China, Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey followed the U.S.

Over the same period, China became the number one import source for the EU with €217 billion ($262.6 billion) or 19.2 percent of total imports — by the U.S., Russia, Switzerland, and Norway.

The country-to-country figures showed that the EU posted the largest trade surplus with the U.S. — €79.3 billion ($95.9 billion) — and the highest trade deficit with China — €98.4 billion ($119 billion) — this January to July.

Euro area goods exports up 3.1 pct in H1

By Gokhan Ergocun

ANKARA (AA) – The 19 EU member states, which use the euro as their common currency, exported goods worth €1.12 trillion ($1.21 trillion) in the first half of 2018, up 3.1 percent over the same period from a year earlier, Eurostat announced Thursday.

Imports of goods in the euro area, or eurozone, in H1 rose 3.8 percent reach to €1.02 billion ($1.1 trillion), Eurostat said.

The area's international goods trade surplus stood at €100.7 billion (nearly $109 billion) during the January-June period.

H1 trade within the euro area totaled some €980.6 billion ($1.06 trillion), a 5.5 percent rise year-on-year.

Moving to all 28 EU members, in the same period exports and imports of EU28 goods rose 2.5 and 2.8 percent to reach €956.8 billion ($1.03 trillion) and €960.7 billion ($1.04 billion), respectively.

The EU28's goods trade deficit was €3.9 billion ($4.2 billion) during the first six months of 2018.

The trade of goods among the 28 EU member states reached €1.76 trillion ($1.9 trillion), up 5 percent in H1 year-on-year.

Germany was the top exporter of goods — both in trade within the union and with the rest of the world — with €664.8 billion ($718 billion), followed by the Netherlands with €297.9 billion ($321.7 billion) and France with €244.8 billion ($264.4 billion).

The U.S., China, Switzerland, Russia, Turkey, Norway, Japan, South Korea, India and Canada were the EU28’s top trade partners in H1.

Turkey's exports to the EU28 rose 6.7 percent to reach €38 billion ($41 billion) and its imports from the EU28 were €44.3 billion ($47.8 billion), up 7.8 percent year-on-year in H1.

– June data

In June, exports of goods from the EA19 and the EU28 rose 5.7 percent and 8.2 percent year-on-year to reach €198.6 billion ($232.4 billion) and €171.5 billion ($200.6 billion), respectively.

The goods trade surplus in the EA19 and the EU28 were €22.5 billion ($26.3 billion) and €6.9 billion ($8.07 billion), respectively.

Intra-EA19 and intra-EU28's goods trade rose by 7.1 percent and 5.4 percent year-on-year to reach €170.7 billion ($199.7 billion) and €304.8 billion ($356.6 billion), respectively, in H1.

Turkish Treasury posts $9.4B cash deficit in first half

By Gokhan Ergocun

ANKARA (AA) – The Turkish Treasury's cash balance saw a deficit of 38.3 billion Turkish liras (around $9.36 billion) between January and June, the Treasury Undersecretariat announced on Friday.

The Treasury received 363.6 billion liras ($88.89 billion) in cash revenue in the first six months of this year, while expenditures stood at 405.5 billion liras ($99.14 billion).

During the first half of 2018, the Treasury's non-interest expenditures amounted to 373.2 billion liras ($91.23 billion).

Interest payments were 32.3 billion liras ($7.9 billion), one of the top contributors to the Treasury's cash balance deficit in the same period.

The Treasury collected 2.6 billion liras ($883.1 million) revenues from privatization or fund income — including transfers by the Turkish Privatization Administration, 4.5G license payments, land sale revenues, etc. — in the same period.

The cash balance — a $9.4 billion deficit — represents the Treasury's cash revenues plus privatization and fund income minus expenditures, including interest payments, in the first six months of 2018.

Last year, the Treasury's cash balance ran a deficit of 60.4 billion liras ($16.5 billion). The 12-month revenue plus privatization or fund income amounted to 636.6 billion liras ($174.5 billion), while expenditures in 2017 — including interest payments — surpassed 697 billion liras ($191 billion).

The six-month average U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate this year was around 4.1, while last year one dollar traded for 3.65 liras on average.

EU sees over $10B trade deficit in January-April

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – The European Union foreign trade balance saw a deficit of €8.3 billion ($10.2 billion) this January to April, EU statistics office Eurostat announced on Friday.

In the first four months of this year, the EU’s exports of goods totaled €625.7 billion ($769.6 billion), up 2.7 percent on a yearly basis, while imports from the rest of the world totaled €634 billion ($779.8 billion), rising 2.3 year-on-year.

"As a result, the EU28 recorded a deficit of €8.3 billion, compared with €10.4 billion in January-April 2017," Eurostat said. "Intra-EU28 trade rose to €1.16 trillion in January-April 2018, plus 5.2 percent compared with January-April 2017."

The January-April average EUR/USD exchange rate was around 1.23 this year, while one euro was trading for 1.06 U.S. dollar on average during the same period last year.

According to the official data, the U.S. is the top export market for the EU with €130.7 billion ($160.7 billion), accounting for nearly 21 percent of the bloc's total exports this January to April.

China, Switzerland, Turkey, and Russia followed the U.S. in the list of the EU’s major export markets in the same period.

The 28 member countries imported the most from China — €121.4 billion ($149.3 billion), or some 19 percent of total imports — followed by the U.S., Russia, Switzerland, and Norway.

In country-to-country figures, the EU28 saw the highest trade surplus with the U.S. — €45.4 billion ($55.8 billion) — and the largest trade deficit with China — €56.9 billion ($69.9 billion) — in the four-month period.

Turkish Treasury posts $2.9B cash deficit in Jan-May

By Jeyhun Aliyev

ANKARA (AA) – The Turkish Treasury's cash balance saw a deficit of 11.5 billion Turkish liras (around $2.9 billion) between January and May, the Treasury Undersecretariat announced on Thursday.

The Treasury received 310.5 billion liras ($77.8 billion) in cash revenue in the first five months of this year, while expenditures stood at 324.5 billion liras ($81.3 billion).

Over the same period, the Treasury's non-interest expenditures amounted to 294.1 billion Turkish liras ($73.7 billion).

Interest payments were 30.4 billion liras ($7.6 billion), one of the top contributors to the Treasury's cash balance deficit in the same period.

The Treasury collected 2.5 billion liras ($626 million) revenues from privatization or fund income — including transfers by the Turkish Privatization Administration, 4.5G license payments, land sale revenues, etc. — in the same period.

The cash balance — a $2.9 billion deficit — represents the Treasury's cash revenues plus privatization and fund income minus expenditures, including interest payments, in the first five months of 2018.

Last year, the Treasury's cash balance ran a deficit of 60.4 billion liras ($16.5 billion). The 12-month revenue plus privatization or fund income amounted to 636.6 billion liras ($174.5 billion), while expenditures in 2017 — including interest payments — surpassed 697 billion liras ($191 billion).

The five-month average U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate this year was around 3.99, while last year one dollar traded for 3.65 liras on average.

Dollar strength might ease due to US large deficits

LONDON (AA) – Dollar strength might not extend a lot further given the large U.S. budget and current account deficits, Adam Slater, an economist at Oxford Economics has said.

“Risk appetite for emerging markets has certainly declined over recent weeks, the result in our view of a combination of factors, including a stronger dollar and rising U.S. interest rates and reduced confidence about global growth,” Slater told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.

Noting that the dollar rally might not last long, “However, at present we do not expect risk appetite to deteriorate significantly further as our overall global economic view remains reasonably positive and we do not think dollar strength will extend a lot further given large U.S. budget and current account deficits,” he added.

Commenting on the recent rate hike decision of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, Cristian Maggio, head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities, said: “For the time being, we think USD TRY will settle at around 4.40/4.50.”

“Admittedly, the move is aggressive and in line with the stated goal of reducing inflation to single digit, if not down to the 5.0 percent target.”

Maggio said in order for the Turkish lira to enjoy a more sustainable rally, tangible achievements on the consumer price index front and substantial improvements of other macro imbalances such as the wide current account deficit must materialize first.

“The reason why the CBRT acted so late, we think, is to allow Europe trading to close first, so that liquidity would dry out in North America trading hours, as NA is less active trading TRY than Europe,” Maggio added.

The Turkish Central Bank on Wednesday raised late liquidity window interest rates from 13.50 to 16.50 percent.

"Current elevated levels of inflation and inflation expectations continue to pose risks on the pricing behavior," the bank said in the statement.

"Accordingly, the committee decided to implement a strong monetary tightening to support price stability," it said.

UPDATE – Turkey's Borsa Istanbul down over 1.5 percent at close

UPDATES WITH MORE DAILY FIGURES

By Gokhan Ergocun

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's benchmark stock index closed Tuesday down 1.77 percent at 101,540.39 points with a trading volume of around 7.1 billion Turkish liras ($1.6 billion).

Borsa Istanbul's BIST 100 index ended the day with a 1,830.03-point decrease from previous close of 103,370.42 points, while it opened the day at 102,264.89 points, down 1.07 percent.

The benchmark index hovered between 101,221.10 points and 103,026.71 points, while 7 stocks on the index were on the rise, 48 on the decline, and 45 flat compared to the previous close.

The total market value of listed shares on the BIST 100 was around 818 billion Turkish liras ($184.17 billion) at the close, while the banking and holding sector indices dropped 2.81 percent and 1.64 percent, respectively.

Among all sectors, the mining sector index was the best performer, rising 4.79 percent, and the chemical petrol plastic sector index saw the biggest drop, declining 3.30 percent.

The stocks of mining company Koza Madencilik climbed the most, up 8.60 percent, while the stocks of a private lender ICBC Turkey Bank were the worst, falling 8.53 percent.

The BIST 100's most-traded listed companies were private lender Garanti, state lender Halkbank, iron/steel producer Kardemir, national flag carrier Turkish Airlines, and mining company Koza Madencilik.

The USD/TRY exchange hit its historic high with 4.4590 as of 5 p.m. local time (1400GMT) Tuesday, up from 4.3200 at Monday's close.

The euro/lira exchange rate also increased to 5.2740 by market close, versus 5.1760 at the previous close, and one British pound was traded at 6.0100 Turkish liras, compared with 5.8840 at Monday's close.

The BIST Gold Exchange index fell by 1.63 percent at the close. In Borsa Istanbul's Precious Metals and Diamond Markets, one ounce of gold traded for $1,296.50 as of 4.30 p.m. local time (1330GMT) Tuesday, compared with $1,318 at previous close.

The price of Brent oil reached $78.79 per barrel as of 18.00 p.m. local time (1500GMT) Tuesday. During the day, it hit its 43-month high with $79.25. It was over $85.8 in October 2014 and around $70.1 in November 2014. It saw around $34.70 per barrel as its lowest level at the beginning of 2016.

Turkey's unemployment rate stood at 10.6 percent in February, falling 2 percentage points on a yearly basis, TurkStat said Tuesday. It added the number of unemployed persons aged 15 years and over — 3.35 million last February — decreased by 546,000, year-on-year.

The country's central government budget balance saw a deficit of 23.2 billion Turkish liras ($5.98 billion) in the January-April period, the Finance Ministry announced Tuesday. It also said Turkey's budget revenues rose by 17.3 percent to 232 billion Turkish liras ($59.8 billion), while the country's budget expenses increased by 18.3 percent to 255.2 billion Turkish liras ($65.8 billion), from January to April on a yearly basis.

UPDATE – Turkey's budget posts $5.3B deficit in Q1

UPDATES WITH MORE FIGURES AND MINISTER'S COMMENTS

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – The Turkish government's budget balance saw a deficit of 20.4 billion Turkish liras ($5.34 billion) in the first quarter of 2018, the Finance Ministry announced on Monday.

According to an official statement, Turkey's budget revenues this January to March totaled 167.4 billion Turkish liras ($43.8 billion), up 15.7 percent compared to the same period of last year.

Over the same period, budget expenses stood at 187.9 billion Turkish liras ($49.2 billion), climbing 17.7 percent annually.

Excluding interest payments, the central government budget balance saw a surplus of nearly $500 million in the first quarter of this year.

The average U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate in the first quarter was around 3.82, according to Turkey's Central Bank.

Interest payments in the first quarter rose 18.3 percent on a yearly basis to reach 22.3 billion Turkish liras ($5.8 billion), while tax revenues reached 145.8 billion Turkish liras ($38.2 billion) — a 19.9 percent annual rise.

Finance Minister Naci Agbal said in the statement that tax revenues for this year will exceed the targeted figures in the country's Medium-Term Program (MTP).

"The expenditures in the first quarter of the year were realized within the limits of budget allocations," he said.

"In the coming months, we will continue to decisively implement fiscal discipline to achieve the year-end budget targets in the MTP," he added.

In 2017, Turkey's budget deficit/GDP ratio was around 1.5 percent — below the MTP target. In the country's MTP, the budget deficit/GDP ratio target is 1.9 percent this year, 1.8 percent next year, and 1.6 percent in 2020.