Lira Advances as Moody’s Schedules Teleconference on Turkey

The lira rose for the first day in three and bonds climbed after Moody’s Investors Service scheduled a conference call on Turkey on Jan. 28 to discuss the nation’s shift closer toward an investment-grade rating.

The lira traded 0.2 percent stronger against the dollar at 1.7606 at 1:20 p.m. in Istanbul, erasing earlier losses of as much as 0.2 percent. Yields on two-year notes slid four basis points, or 0.04 percentage points, to 5.89 percent, the lowest level since Dec. 18 on a closing basis.

Speculation that Turkey will get a second investment grade rating has helped prolong Turkey’s bond rally, the best in emerging markets over the past year. Moody’s rates the country at Ba1, one level below investment grade. Fitch Ratings gave Turkey its first investment-grade rating in 18 years in November.

“I guess the market will begin to assume that investment grade is imminent,” Tim Ash, a London-based strategist at Standard Bank Group Ltd., said in an e-mailed note today.

The call will last approximately 30 minutes and will include discussions of “shifting closer to an investment grade sovereign rating,” according to a statement on the Moody’s website today.

“They are going to discuss ratings as Turkey’s credit quality comes closer to investment grade,” Luis Costa, an emerging markets strategist at Citigroup Inc. in London, said by e-mail today. “As consensus stays firm on upgrade territory, I am sure the markets will read it positively.”

The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet today. The bank will probably keep its benchmark repo rate at 5.5 percent, overnight lending rate at 9 percent and overnight borrowing rate at 5 percent, according to a Bloomberg survey of 12 economists.

To contact the reporter on this story: Selcuk Gokoluk in Istanbul at sgokoluk@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net

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