Turkish central bank starts distributing 2021 profits to shareholders

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Turkey’s central bank on Thursday said it has decided to pay advance dividends from its 2021 accounting period and distribute its reserve fund from 2020 profits to shareholders, including the treasury.

After an extraordinary general assembly meeting, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) said it has started distributing TL 45 billion ($3.32 billion) as advanced dividends and TL 4.3 billion as reserve funds.

Turkey has ramped up fiscal support for the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic and volatility following a slide in the Turkish lira’s value and soaring inflation.

The bank had announced that it would hold its general assembly meeting early this year. Accounts published by the central bank showed an adjustment of about TL 124 billion in its valuation account, a component of the central bank’s balance sheet, between Dec. 30 and Dec. 31. The account ended the year at TL 54 billion.

Another account called “other items,” which includes the bank’s profits was meanwhile adjusted by around TL 130 billion, to stand at TL 60.2 billion on Dec. 31.

Economists and bankers had said the changes could allow the central bank to record a profit in 2021 despite the lira slide toward year-end. Any profits are typically transferred in April to the treasury, the central bank’s main shareholder.

The valuation account contains unrealized gains and losses arising from the revaluation of foreign currencies, gold and other assets and liabilities, based on price changes of the lira and gold on international markets.

The central bank had transferred funds to state coffers in January 2019 and 2020 after extraordinary general meetings, but it did not do so last year.

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