Turkey's banking regulator changed a rule to encourage commercial lenders to hold less foreign currency for their needs after a warning letter last week, Bloomberg reports.
Under the new rule, the net foreign-currency position cannot exceed 5 percent of capital. Previously, the limit was 20 percent. Some banks will have to reduce their foreign exchange surpluses by Jan. 9, when the new rule takes effect. According to official figures, private lenders have a net foreign exchange surplus of 7% of their equity as of December.
Turkey's central bank urges lenders to avoid early purchases of foreign currency.
The move came after the central bank sent a warning letter saying banks were conducting transactions for their own balance sheets and it caused market volatility.
The central bank has repeatedly warned banks in recent months to avoid significant foreign currency transactions with foreign banks after hours.
The Turkish lira has lost about 29 percent of its value against the dollar this year and is considered the worst performer in emerging markets after the Argentine peso.