Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said negotiations for a stand by agreement with IMF were still underway, adding that the government was not planning to invite IMF to Turkey until the last minute in order not to raise expectations. Babacan told a press conference in Ankara Wednesday that they have reached consensus over main issues with IMF and were discussing the details through tele conference two three times a week.

He said in case of a stand-by agreement with the IMF, the amount of the loan to be drawn would lower the domestic borrowing and lead to a rise in Turkey's reserves.

Babacan said he believed the worst in the financial crisis for Turkey was left behind, and was expecting a minute year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2009.

"If that does not happen we expect growth in the first quarter of 2009 the latest. We expect growth to continue with each quarter to come," said Babacan.

Babacan who pointed out Turkey made majority of its exports to the EU and received 80 to 90 percent of the total direct investments from the EU countries, underlining that Turkey was exposed to developments in these countries.

"The EU economy contracted over the global average this year. And growth is not expected in the next year especially in the Euro Zone. In other words after hitting the bottom in 2009, the European economies will float around the average in 2009. This is an issue we should monitor with care," said Babacan.

Babacan said a revision in the Midterm Program was not necessary under current circumstances.

Drawing attention to the growing budget deficit which have reached USD 63 Billion, Babacan said they started taking precautions. He said they expected a budget deficit of USD 50 Billion for the next year.

News: AA

Photo: AA