By Hatice Aydogdu
ANKARA, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Turkey’s Capital Markets Board Chairman Vedat Akgiray said on Wednesday it was “reasonable” for foreign investors to pay a 10 percent withholding tax on stocks, bonds and mutual funds, as domestic investors do.
Akgiray said, during a breakfast with an economic correspondents club, that he expected the tax issue to be settled within weeks.
The Constitutional Court ruled last year in favour of making the tax equal for domestic and foreign investors, after the government scrapped the tax for foreigners in 2006 in a bid to calm markets when the lira lost about a fifth of its value.
The ruling knocked investor sentiment and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said the government would overhaul the withholding tax before the court ruling takes effect. The final decision is Simsek’s to make, but Akgiray is consulted in the process.
Foreign ownership rates in the stock exchange were not falling and will not fall, he said, adding foreigners own 66 percent of the exchange according to most recent data.