China backs Turkey to overcome its economic crisis

China backs Turkey to overcome its economic crisis

Turkey and the United States exchanged new threats of sanctions Friday, keeping alive a diplomatic and financial crisis that is threatening the economic stability of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country.

On Thursday, Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak assured global investors on a conference call that the country would emerge stronger from its currency crisis and that its banks were healthy.

In a statement, the ministry also said it would provide flexibility on maturities and pricing to endure cash flow for companies, while taking additional measures to avoid obstacles against borrowing for companies.

A detained American pastor has become a symbol of a growing rift between Turkey and the United States, but problems in the Cold War-era alliance as well as Turkey's own financial crisis are unlikely to dissipate even if he is released and Washington eases economic penalties.

Turkey on Friday threatened to respond if the United States levied further sanctions over the detention of an American pastor, which has sparked a diplomatic standoff and battered the Turkish currency.

Turkey has the highest foreign exchange-denominated debt among emerging markets, Societe Generale said in its note on Friday, estimating its short-term external debt at $180 billion and total external debt at $460 billion.

On Wednesday, in retaliation, Turkey increased tariffs on several US-origin products, including alcohol, tobacco products and cars.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first people Erdogan called on that day, increasing speculation that the Turkish leader is moving closer to Moscow as relationships with the U.S crumble. Erdogan has tightened his grip since consolidating power after general elections this year.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier criticized Turkey's move to impose tariffs on some US goods as "regrettable and a step in the wrong direction".

In an analysis piece the Financial Times said the move to press Turkey to release Andrew Brunson was done to appease evangelical Christian voters who are a large core of Trump's support base. She wouldn't be drawn on whether the Trump administration would respond.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Trump at a cabinet meeting on Thursday that sanctions were ready to be put in place if Brunson were not freed.

Mr Trump wrote in a tweet late on Thursday: "We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey!"

The Turkish banking watchdog has taken steps to stabilize the currency, limiting futures transactions for offshore investors and lowering limits on swap transactions.

Erdogan has remained defiant in the face of the crisis with Washington, saying Turkey could turn to new alternative markets. Economists gave Albayrak's presentation a qualified welcome and the lira subsequently held firm. The decision came after Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.

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