CBRT member skipped rate meeting after contracting COVID-19

A member of the Turkish central bank’s monetary policy committee had to miss last week’s rate-setting meeting after he tested positive for COVID-19, a report claimed Monday.

Abdullah Yavaş skipped the Thursday meeting after contracting the virus in the U.S., where he is said to be residing, Bloomberg reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Yavaş, who has been a member of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey’s (CBRT) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) since 2008, reportedly could not attend the meeting even virtually, according to the report.

Abdullah Yavaş, a member of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey’s (CBRT) monetary policy committee. (File Photo)

Last week’s meeting saw the central bank unexpectedly lowering its benchmark policy rate by 100 basis points to 18%.

It was widely expected to hold interest rates steady at 19%, where they had been since March, given increasing inflation.

Turkey’s annual consumer price inflation accelerated to 19.25% in August, above the central bank’s policy rate and its highest level in more than two years.

The CBRT’s rate-setting committee is headed by the governor and consists of seven members who vote by a show of hands.

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