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Turkey lira slides after Erdogan son-in-law named finance chief

Turkey lira slides after Erdogan son-in-law named finance chief

ISTANBUL: The embattled Turkish lira on Monday lost 3.5 percent in value against the US dollar after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan named his son-in-law Berat Albayrak as finance minister in a new government.

The appointment of finance minister had been keenly awaited by markets, with the naming of Albayrak, the husband of Erdogan’s elder daughter Esra and formerly energy minister, coming as something of a surprise.

The Turkish lira lost 3.5 percent in value to trade at 4.73 lira to the dollar and lost 3.5 percent to trade at 5.5 to the euro.

There was no sign in the new government of Mehmet Simsek, the former deputy prime minister in charge of the economy and a former Merrill Lynch economist seen by markets as a reassuring figure.

There had also been rumors Erdogan was preparing to appoint a big name from outside politics to the job, but these did not come to fruition.

The lira has lost over 20 percent against the dollar this year, with markets rattled by Erdogan’s repeated urgings to the nominally independent central bank to lower rates despite high inflation.

Markets were also unnerved by a decree earlier that the central bank governor would no longer have the power to appoint his deputies.