July 12, 2018 / 9:09 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Turkey's finance minister says central bank is independent - Anadolu

(Adds quotes, background)

ISTANBUL, July 12 (Reuters) - Turkey’s newly appointed Treasury and Finance Minister said the central bank is independent and will do whatever is necessary according to economic realities and market conditions, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday.

“We will support the implementation of a monetary policy which is more predictable, simple and decisive, in line with the central bank’s targets,” Berat Albayrak was cited as telling Anadolu. President Tayyip Erdogan appointed Albayrak, his son-in-law, to the new post this week.

The lira, which has weakened 21 percent this year, hit a record low of 4.9767 overnight on concerns about central bank independence. It has since trimmed its losses and stood at 4.8130 at 0905 GMT, having firmed as far as 4.7836 after Albayrak’s comments.

“As the government, we will remove as far as possible structural obstacles that could limit the effectiveness of these policies and support monetary policy by strengthening policy coordination,” the minister said.

He added that the government would take steps to lower annual inflation in the shortest time to single digits and then to the target level, which is 5 percent. Inflation jumped to a 14-year high of 15.39 percent in June.

“Our policies, prioritising budget discipline, single-digit inflation and structural reforms, will take shape with in the framework of a stable and sustainable growth target for Turkey’s economy,” Albayrak said. (Reporting by Daren Butler and Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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