© Bloomberg. A 10 Turkish Lira banknote


(Bloomberg) — Turkey’s banking watchdog barred local lenders from trading liras with Citibank NA., BNP Paribas (OTC:) SA and UBS AG, saying the three foreign banks failed to meet their lira liabilities.

Banking regulator issued the ban after state media blamed unidentified London-based financial institutions for taking manipulative positions against the lira.

UBS declined to comment. A BNP representative wasn’t immediately available to comment.

The currency weakened to a record low against the dollar earlier Thursday but erased losses following the regulator’s announcement. It was trading 1.2% higher at 7.1065 per at 3:31 p.m. in Istanbul.

The regulator has recently limited the amount of liras Turkish banks can make available to foreign investors and banks, in an apparent attempt to make it tougher to bet against the local currency.

It also expanded the definition of manipulative trades in financial markets. Trades that generate “misleading pricing” or keep asset prices at “abnormal or artificial” levels are now considered to violate the law.

(Updates with more details from the third paragraph.)

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