Turkey not expecting rating downgrade from Moody’s: Investment agency head
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
REUTERS photoA downgrade to Turkey’s credit rating is not expected from Moody’s in their review on Aug. 5, the president of Turkey’s Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT) said on July 25.
Arda Ermut, the agency’s president, spoke to Anadolu Agency after Moody’s announced last week that it would review Turkey’s rating for a possible downgrade following the July 15 coup attempt.
“Moody’s stated that there were some fragile points in the Turkish economy in April 2014. But since then the Turkish economy has reached a stronger position,” Ermut said.
Turkey’s Baa3 rating has remained unchanged since April 2014.
Ermut, whose agency is a part of the prime minister’s office, said ISPAT considers the Baa3 rating to be below the level the country deserves.
Turkey’s GDP increased by 4.8 percent during the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year, and the country became one of the fastest growing economies among the G-20 and members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
“Our country put a number of action plans in place and started to get results,” Ermut said.
“Along with that, international investors have invested $21 billion in Turkey since the start of 2015. Over $13 billion of this amount was invested in domestic products and services. Even these numbers show that Turkey’s structural and fiscal strength has improved since 2014,” he added.
The coup attempt put pressure on the political risk factor - a component of the credit rating – Ermut admitted.
“However, this attempt was put down as our people flocked to the streets to oppose rogue elements of the military. Solidarity among the people removed the political risk factor from Turkey’s agenda. So I do not think Moody’s will take a negative decision on Turkey’s credit rating. Turkey’s current credit rating is already lower than what it deserves,” he said.
ISPAT will continue to promote foreign investment in the country, Ermut also stressed.
“We have started getting in touch with foreign investors, numbering around 10,000 in our database. With these contacts, we have seen that their trust in Turkey is not wavering and their hunger for making investments is still strong,” he said.