Gerhard Beulig, fund manager and responsible for the YOU INVEST line, expects capital markets to remain highly volatile for a while. The central banks are trapped by their own extreme interest rate policy; interest rates therefore remain at practically zero percent for short-term investments, with no trend reversal in sight. Investors who want to earn at least the rate of inflation in the long run, will find no way around investing on the capital markets. At the moment the fund management team prefers the USA to the Eurozone due to the positive interest rate differential; we regard equities as neutral. The foreign exchange risk remains hedged.
In Turkey, the impact of the currency fluctuations are being discussed and even an ordinary Turk on the street knows what it means for the currency to depreciate. For example, during a cab ride, you may have a very deep economic discussion with the taxi driver about the dollar and the Turkish lira. This is as a result of the crises Turks experienced in the past – unfortunately there was more than one! This in turn, has enabled Turks to have their guard up automatically to cope with the strong dollar and there is a dollar investment mechanism in every household immediately if they get a whiff of the depreciating Turkish lira. Corporates also got used to foreign currency fluctuations, but as an import and export oriented country, the depreciating lira has some negative implications on the corporates as well as economic indicators.
After quite a stable period the Turkish lira has started depreciating against the dollar since the final months of 2014 due to a combination of: i) President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments regarding the Central Bank of Turkey, ii) the ECB’s quantitative easing program, iii) woes about Greece’s exit from the EU and iv) the FED’s rate hike expectations.