File - Foreign currency exchange rates are displayed on a screen outside an exchange office in central Istanbul January 29, 2014. (REUTERS/Murad Sezer)
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Ercan Cercioglu is holding off on investing in new technology for the Turkish maker of car parts that he runs as the lira's slide makes it harder for companies to service foreign-currency debt.The cost of importing raw materials like steel jumped as the lira tumbled 13 percent in the past six months, according to Cercioglu, chief executive officer of Aydin, Turkey-based Jantsa Jant Sanayi ve Ticaret AS. The company, whose third-quarter financial debt was 41 million liras ($19 million) and was almost fully denominated in foreign currencies, is hesitating to pass additional costs onto customers, he said. Net foreign-currency debt of Turkish companies surged 21 percent to $170 billion last year through November, according to central bank data.The lira weakened 0.3 percent Friday morning to 2.2168 per dollar.Out of every 10,000 companies, only two aren't SMEs, a classification for businesses employing fewer than 250 workers and/or posting annual sales of under 40 million liras, according to data of the state-run Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization.
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