Fitch Upgrade for Turkey Wouldn’t Be Surprising, Simsek Says

Fitch Ratings upgrading Turkey to investment grade wouldn’t be a surprise, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said in an interview with Bloomberg Haberturk television yesterday.

Turkey has maintained budget discipline, regained investors’ confidence by keeping the budget deficit at half its target and had no difficulty with the budget in the first six months of the year, Simsek said.

Turkish debt is trading on par with countries rated seven or eight levels higher, while AAA-rated countries are sinking, he said.

The coming months may see a “serious” decline in inflation, Simsek said. The cost of a revised salary agreement with state workers will be 5 billion liras ($2.8 billion), he added.

Speculation that an upgrade from one of the rating companies was imminent helped to buoy Turkish bonds yesterday, sending yields down as much as 20 basis points, the most since March, Murat Yardimci, who heads trading at ING Bank in Istanbul, said in e-mailed comments yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Benjamin Harvey in Istanbul at bharvey11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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