Turks' forex holdings rise by more than $2bln to $225.24bln - central bank

The holdings have eased from a record high of $236.11bln in January


ANKARA- Turkish locals' forex and precious metals holdings rose by around $2.23 billion to $225.24 billion as of April 16, data from the central bank showed on Thursday, as Turks turned to hard currencies again after a brief selloff.

The holdings have eased from a record high of $236.11 billion in January. Their fall accelerated in mid-March, as Turks converted their hard currencies to benefit from the lira's sharp decline against the dollar.

Turks have flocked to hard currencies in recent years as a hedge against double-digit inflation and a volatile lira, which lost 20% of its value against the dollar last year. It dropped 12% in a week after President Tayyip Erdogan sacked the former hawkish central bank governor last month.

When adjusted for the parity effect, the data showed the hard currency holdings rose by $1.35 billion in the week to April 16.

Data also showed on Thursday that foreign investors bought $164.9 million worth of Turkish government bonds in the week to April 16, and their holdings in stocks were unchanged.

Separately, the central bank's gross forex reserves rose to $49.69 billion in the same period from $49.38 billion a week earlier.

(Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen Editing by Daren Butler) ((ali.kucukgocmen@thomsonreuters.com , @alikucukgocmen; +905319306206; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: ali.kucukgocmen.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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