New military detentions stoke fresh Turkey concerns

Two retired generals were charged on Friday over a plot to unseat the government, raising the stakes in a potential stand-off between the ruling party and armed forces that has hit Turkish markets. The two were the most senior military figures so far to be charged over an alleged 2003 plot. Hours earlier, police had conducted a second wave of military detentions, widening an investigation that has seen more than 30 officers arrested and prompted an emergency summit among Turkey’s leaders. Turkish state-run news agency Anatolian said retired general Cetin Dogan, former head of Turkey’s First Army, and lieutenant- general Engin Alan, a former special forces commander, had been formally arrested after appearing at an Istanbul court. Dogan had occupied a position traditionally seen as a step towards becoming head of the Turkish Armed Forces. [Read the full article]

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Tiff Macklem, a keen proponent of financial reform and a familiar face at G7 and G20 meetings, will assume the No. 2 job at the Bank of Canada, but his start date will not be until July, following a G20 summit in Canada, the bank said on Friday. Macklem, currently the associate deputy minister at the Department of Finance and Canada’s G7 deputy, was widely viewed as a leading candidate for the job of senior deputy governor at the central bank. He and bank Governor Mark Carney have already worked together on international economic issues, and although insiders say Macklem’s mild-mannered reserve contrasts with Carney’s more aggressive style, they are compatible. “It brings a very bright light back in-house to the Bank of Canada, and that will serve the BoC well in re-stocking talent in order to address the challenges of exit strategies that lie ahead,” said Derek Holt, an economist with Scotia Capital. [Read the full article]

Chilean stocks ended over 1 percent higher on Friday, lifted by the retail sector and shares in flagship airline LAN ahead of the imminent sale of the remaining stake of President-elect Sebastina Pinera. Chile’s blue-chip IPSA stock index .IPSA rose 1.04 percent to 3,827.44 while the all-market IGPA .IGPA closed 0.83 percent higher at 17,789.25. “The gains were lead by the retail and commodities sectors,” said Jorge Tolosa, an analyst with Ugarte brokerage. “LAN shares also advanced as all eyes are on which investors will buy” the remainder shares from Pinera. Pinera on Thursday sold a 6.4 percent stake in airline LAN for $375 million as he moves quickly to divest his major holding in one of Latin America’s top carriers. Pinera has plans to sell the remainder 11 percent to a small group of investors. [Read the full article]

Mexico’s central bank sold options contracts on Friday that will allow holders to sell the bank up to $600 million over the next month as Mexico tries to boost its international reserves. The central bank said on Monday it plans to buy up to $600 million every month to increase its stockpile of U.S. dollars, which on Feb 19 totaled $93.4 billion. Central bank governor Agustin Carstens told Reuters on Wednesday that higher reserves will give Mexico a bigger backstop against any future turmoil in financial markets. The options give holders the right to sell dollars to the central bank at the previous business day’s fixing price whenever the fix is above the 20-day moving average. The options will be profitable to exercise whenever the spot price of the peso exceeds the previous day’s fix. The central bank said in a statement that banks had purchased all of the put option contracts offered at an auction for an average 44.49 pesos per $1 million contract. [Read the full article]

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