Turkish central bank's net international reserves fall to $11.53 billion

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ISTANBUL, May 20 (Reuters) - The Turkish central bank's net international reserves dropped some $3.5 billion to $11.53 billion in the week to May 13, data from the central bank showed on Friday.

The exchange rate used by Reuters was 15.3526.

Forex reserves have dropped sharply in recent years, most recently due to the billions of dollars the bank sold in market interventions to stem a currency crisis in December and address what it called "unhealthy" prices.

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The lira still ended the year down 44% against the dollar in 2021, a slump which helped send inflation soaring to 70% in April, the highest under President Tayyip Erdogan's rule. The currency lost some 18% against the greenback so far this year.

The central bank has met the market's need for at least $30 billion of forex since December through its reserves, in addition to direct interventions in the forex market in 2019-2020, when it sold $128 billion to support the lira.

Its net forex reserves touched a record low of $7.55 billion early this year before moving higher.

In past years, the bank used swaps with local banks to backstop interventions, an unorthodox policy that spooked foreign investors and local savers.

Data showed the bank's outstanding swap transactions stood at $41.72 billion as of Wednesday. The reserves are in negative territory once the swaps are deducted.

Note: The figures are released every week on the central bank balance sheet as per a letter of intent with the International Monetary Fund dated 18 January 2002. The figures are released in Turkish liras and are converted by Reuters to U.S. dollars using the central bank's official exchange rate from the previous work day.

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Reporting by Can Sezer; Editing by Ece Toksabay

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