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Turkish Cenbank's net FX Reserves at 20-Year Low at $7.4 bln

ISTANBUL, June 23 (Reuters) - The Turkish central bank's net international reserves fell to their lowest level in 20 years at $7.38 billion as of June 17, data from the central bank showed on Thursday.

The exchange rate used by Reuters on Thursday was 17.2880. The net forex reserves stood at $8.15 billion a week earlier.

Forex reserves have dropped sharply in recent years, most recently due to the billions of dollars the bank sold in market interventions in the wake of a currency crisis in December.

The lira still ended the year down 44% against the dollar in 2021, a slump which helped send inflation soaring to 73.5% in May, the highest under President Tayyip Erdogan's rule.

The currency has lost some 24% against the greenback so far this year.

The central bank has met the market's need for more than $30 billion of forex since December through its reserves, in addition to direct interventions in the forex market in 2019-2020, when it sold $128 billion to support the lira.

Its net forex reserves had touched a low of $7.55 billion early this year before moving higher to touch $19.13 billion on April 15.

In past years, the bank used swaps with local banks to backstop interventions, an unorthodox policy that spooked foreign investors and local savers.

Data showed the bank's outstanding swap transactions stood at $39.41 billion as of Wednesday. The reserves are in negative territory once the swaps are deducted.

Reporting by Can Sezer; Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen

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