Turkey's Debt Mess Looms Even as Albayrak Sees ‘Clean Slate'

Turkey’s finance minister said on Monday that steps taken by the government would give banks a “clean slate” to begin lending again, but bankers and analysts said Ankara needed to do more to understand the extent of the mess and to finally clear it up, Reuters reported. Two senior bankers said that big lenders may not completely abide Ankara’s most aggressive move so far: a directive two weeks ago for banks to reclassify as non-performing loans (NPLs) some 46 billion lira ($8.2 billion) in debt. Sour loans are among the worst hangovers from last year’s currency crisis, which knocked some 30% off the Turkish lira and left companies unable to service what were once cheap foreign-currency loans. Read more

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