TURKEY, WHICH SITS at the crossroads of the world between Europe, the Arabian peninsula and Russia, had six years of growth after its 2001 financial crisis, when the Turkish lira lost more than half of its value.
From 2002 through 2007, Turkey’s economy grew an average of 6.8 percent annually. Type TUGPCOYR <Index> GP <Go> to graph gross domestic product in constant prices.
Slumping demand at home and abroad pushed the country into recession late in 2008. In the first three months of 2009, Turkey’s GDP declined a record 14.3 percent, making the downturn the country’s most severe since World War II.
Weak demand let Turkey’s central bank cut its benchmark rates beginning in 2008, while inflation remained at historical lows. Type TUCPIY <Index> GP <Go> to chart Turkish inflation, which topped 130 percent in 1995. Turkey’s consumer price index declined to its lowest level, 5.2 percent, in May 2009. In October, the central bank cut its benchmark overnight interest rate by half a percentage point to a record low of 6.75 percent. Since November 2008, the central bank has slashed 10 percentage points from its benchmark rate. Type BTMM TU <Go> to monitor key Treasury and money market rates for Turkey.
Fixed income is one of the most dynamic areas of finance in Turkey. The market is centered on government bonds. More info can be found at this website. In Turkey, unlike many countries, 80 percent of domestic government bonds are traded on the stock exchange. The Istanbul Stock Exchange is one of the three largest emerging-markets debt exchanges in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, along with those of South Africa and Russia.
VOLUME HAS INCREASED since 2002. In 2008, the total traded value of bonds and bills rose by almost 11 percent to 3.2 trillion lire ($2.5 trillion) from the previous year, according to data from the exchange. By contrast, the traded value in 1998 was only 100 billion lire.
Type TUPM <Go> to track trading with the Istanbul Stock Exchange Bond Monitor function. Type TURKGB 011/03/10 <Corp> YAS <Go> to use the Yield & Spread Analysis function to analyze a Turkish government zero-coupon bond that matures in 2010. To graph the ABN Amro Istanbul Benchmark Bond Index, type TRABNBM <Index> GP <Go>.
Volume in the over-the-counter Turkish bond market has declined since 2000. In 2008, OTC volume dropped 6.3 percent to about 625 trillion lire compared with the previous year. OTC trading accounted for about 15 percent of total volume in 2008.