Turkish lira slightly weaker against dollar after US Halkbank move

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The Turkish lira was slightly weaker against the dollar on Wednesday after US charged majority state-owned Halkbank with taking part in a multibillion-dollar scheme to evade US sanctions against Iran.

At 0442 GMT, the lira stood at 5.9270 against the US currency, compared with a close on Tuesday of 5.9170, according to Reuters.

US prosecutors charged Turkey’s Halkbank on Tuesday with fraud, money laundering, and sanctions offenses related to the bank’s participation in a multi-billion-dollar scheme to evade US sanctions on Iran.

US prosecutors said that high-ranking Turkish government officials received millions of dollars in bribes to promote and protect Halkbank’s scheme to evade US sanctions.

The prosecutors accused Halkbank and its officers of using businesses in Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to bypass sanctions on oil, gas, and gold supplies to Iran, allege prosecutors.

The US has placed ranging sanctions on Iran as part of its "maximum pressure" economic sanctions campaign, aimed at forcing Tehran to drop its support for proxy and terrorist organizations across the region.

Tehran has been accused of using foreign businesses to attempt to bypass sanctions.

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