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Shock of Lira Crash Pushes Turks to Cushion Savings With Dollars

  • Locals hold about $176 billion of foreign currency, a record
  • Turkey is gearing up for municipal elections on March 31
South African Rand Ousts Turkish Lira As Wild Child Of Emerging-Market Currencies
Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Updated on

The stakes in Turkish elections this month could hardly be higher, if the behavior of local investors is anything to go by.

Households and businesses scooped up another $4 billion of hard currency last week, the most since 2012, driving their holdings to a fresh record. Fueling the rush for foreign tender is inflation, which is eating away at their lira savings, and concern the government will double down on policies geared toward priming growth rather than reining in prices after municipal elections on March 31.