S&P lifts Turkish lira rating to investment grade

From MarketWatch

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services raised its local-currency sovereign ratings on Turkey to investment grade at BBB- from BB+ on Tuesday.

In a statement, it attributed the local-currency upgrade to its “view of continuing improvements in Turkey’s financial sector and the deepening of local markets,”

The news briefly shocked traders more than it should have.

Some news agencies mistakenly reported that it was the nation’s sovereign rating that was lifted to investment grade, instead of the local currency rating, which temporarily added to strength in Turkish stocks, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Turkey ISE 100 index  XX:XU100 had climbed by as much as 6.5% Tuesday, then eased to post a gain of 5.1% for the session.

Still, the S&P move is certainly a promising one. “S&P is simply confirming what smart investors and leading multinationals already knew,” said Matt Lasov, director of global research at Frontier Strategy Group — that “Turkey looks a lot more credit worthy than many investment grade markets in Western Europe.”

The local-currency rating upgrade also strengthened the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey’s “hand for further policy easing,” as pressures on the lira are more likely to recede with the investment grade, analysts at BNP Paribas, said in a report.

Given that, they expect the central bank to cut its policy rate by 50 basis points till the year end, if the Federal Reserve introduces another round of quantitative easing.

In recent trading a dollar USDTRY bought 1.78 Turkish lira, compared with around 1.72 lira at the beginning of September.

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