(Bloomberg) -- S&P Global Ratings downgraded Turkey’s sovereign credit rating deeper into junk territory in its latest review, citing concerns over the country’s ultra-loose monetary policy.
The rating company lowered Turkey to B from B+, leaving it on par with Mongolia and Egypt. The outlook on the rating is stable, it said.
“Ahead of 2023 parliamentary and presidential elections, Turkish policymakers are prioritizing growth over financial and monetary stability,” S&P said in its statement published on Friday night after markets closed in New York. “In our view, highly accommodative fiscal and monetary settings risk further undermining confidence in the lira as a store of value, against a backdrop of tightening global financing conditions.”
The downgrade comes roughly a year after Turkey started cutting interest rates despite rampant inflation, a policy championed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The central bank’s key policy rate of one-week repo now stands at 12% despite annual price gains running at over 80%. Easy access to credit also took its toll on the Turkish lira, which lost more than half of its value against the US dollar over the past year, the biggest drop among 31 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg.
“Renewed currency depreciation would have negative implications for Turkiye’s financial stability and public finances, given rising dollarization of public debt, as well as substantial Treasury guarantees,” S&P said.
Turkey’s credit rating was downgraded by all three major agencies in the past three months. Moody’s Investors Service cut the country’s rating earlier in August, citing balance-of-payments risks, while Fitch Ratings downgraded Turkey’s sovereign debt in July on “inflation.”
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