By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
Turkey's net international investment position (NIIP) recorded a recovery in May, narrowing around 12.5 percent compared to the end of 2017, according to Turkish Central Bank (CBRT) on Wednesday.
The country's external assets amounted to $231.6 billion as of May this year, down 0.5 percent from the end of last year, while liabilities against non-residents totaled $632.5 billion, falling 8.6 percent over the same period, the bank said.
According to official data, the gap between Turkey’s assets abroad and liabilities -- the NIIP -- was minus $401 billion in May while it was minus $459.2 billion at the end of last year.
Showing a snapshot in time, the NIIP -- which can be either positive or negative -- is the value of overseas assets owned by a nation, minus the value of domestic assets owned by foreigners, including overseas assets and liabilities held by a nation’s government, the private sector, and its citizens.
The bank noted that reserve assets -- a sub-item under assets -- totaled $107.3 billion at the end of May, down 0.4 percent from the end of 2017, while other investments were $74 billion, down 3.3 percent in the same period.
Currency and bank deposits, one of the sub-items of other investments, dropped 10.8 percent to $31.2 billion compared to the end of last year, official data showed.
On the liabilities side, direct investment -- equity capital plus other capital -- as of May amounted to $139.5 billion, down 26.3 percent from the end of 2017 "with the contribution of the changes in the market value and foreign exchange rates," the bank said.
This January to May, the average U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate was around 3.98, while last year one dollar was exchanged for 3.65 Turkish liras on average.
"Total external loan stock of the banks recorded $94.4 billion, decreasing by 0.4 percent compared to the end of 2017, and the total external loan stock of the other sectors recorded $111 billion, increasing by 2.7 percent," the bank added.