ISTANBUL--Turkey may attract as much as $32 billion in direct and portfolio investments after getting its first investment-grade rating in almost 20 years, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said Tuesday.
The additional foreign investment would probably arrive within two years and typically amount to 4% of a newly upgraded country's gross domestic product, Mr. Simsek said in a televised interview with NTV news channel in Ankara. The finance minister also said that the additional investment is often contingent on getting investment-grade status from at least two of the three main ratings firms.
Fitch Ratings raised Turkey's credit rating by one notch to triple-B-minus on Monday. It cited a resilient economy, a sound banking system and the government's declining debt for increasing the country's status to the lowest rung of 10 investment-grade levels. Moody's Investors Service ranks the country one step below investment grade, while Standard & Poor's rates it an additional notch lower.
Turkey achieved a soft landing of its $780 billion economy, which is set to expand 3% this year, down from 8.5% growth in 2011, even amid global financial uncertainties, Mr. Simsek said.
Meanwhile, the country's current-account deficit, or short-term external financing needs, dropped to $59 billion in August from a record $78.6 billion in October 2011. The finance minister highlighted the government has maintained its fiscal discipline and Turkey's ratio of debt to GDP will continue to decline.
"Turkey still faces external risks, there is a current-account deficit problem and that's why we prioritize our fiscal discipline," Mr. Simsek said.
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