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March 2012

Central Bank News Link List - 29 March 2012

March 29, 2012 by CentralBankNews   Comments (0)

Here's today's Central Bank News link list, click through if you missed the previous central bank news link list.  Remember, if you want to submit links for inclusion in the daily link list, just email them through to us or post them in the comments section below.

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National Bank of Kazakhstan Drops Rate 50bps to 6.50%

March 29, 2012 by CentralBankNews   Comments (0)

The National Bank of Kazakhstan reduced its key refinancing rate by 50 basis points to 6.50% from 6.00% as inflationary pressures eased.  NBK Chairman, Grigori Marchenko, said: "Given the trends in financial markets and the slowdown annual inflation Board of the National Bank of Kazakhstan decided to set April 2, 2012 the official rate refinancing of the National Bank of Kazakhstan at the level of 6.5% per annum, which is historically minimal."  


The Kazakh central bank also cut the refi rate at its February meeting, and last increased the interest rate in March last year by 50 basis points to 7.50%.  Kazakhstan reported inflation of 4.7% in February, 5.9% in January, 7.4% in December, 8.7% in September, compared to 9.0% in August, and 8.50% in July, and above the official inflation target of 8 percent.  Kazakhstan's economy grew at an annual pace of 7.2% in 3Q11, up from 7% in the June quarter, and 6.8% in the March quarter.  
Kazakhstan recently returned its currency, the Tenge, to a "managed" free float, abolishing the tenge's trading corridor at the end of February last year.  The Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT) last traded around 147 against the US dollar.

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National Bank of Belarus Drops Rate 200bps to 36.00%

March 28, 2012 by CentralBankNews   Comments (0)

The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus cut its refinancing rate by 200 basis points to 36.00% from 38.00%; continuing to unwind a string of aggressive rate hikes.  The Bank said [translated]: "The National Bank carries out a gradual decline in interest rates against a background of strengthening positive trends in the economy and the monetary sphere. So, steadily slowing inflation, steady growth in ruble deposits of the population, improving the state of foreign trade... Further dynamics of the refinancing rate will be determined primarily by the intensity of inflation processes and the situation in the economy and the monetary sphere."

The bank also dropped the rate by 500 basis points and 200 basis points last month, and last hiked the rate by 500 basis point for the third time in a row in December last year.  The bank increased the rate a total of 3450 basis points in 2011.  Belarus reported consumer price inflation at hyperinflationary levels of 107.4% in February, down from 109.7% in January this year, up from 92.3% in October, up from 79.6% in September, and 36.2% in the year to June, according to the National Statistic Committee.  


Senior Bank officials have previously noted a desire to reduce the rate to around 20% this year.  The USD-Belarussian ruble (BYR) exchange rate has doubled on the black market, rising to as much as 7,000 per dollar (approx. 6,000 in July), and currently trades around 8050 (5350 in September) against the US dollar, according to quotes from Yahoo Finance.

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Bank al-Maghrib of Morocco Cut Rate 25bps to 3.00%

March 28, 2012 by CentralBankNews   Comments (0)

The Bank al-Maghrib of Morocco cut its main policy rate by 25 basis points to 3.00% from 3.25% previously.  The Bank said: "In this context where economic activity has declined significantly, central inflation forecast is permanently consistent with the price stability objective and the balance of risks is skewed to the downside, the Board decided to reduce the key rate from 3.25 percent to 3 percent, while continuing to closely monitor all of these elements.."


Previously the Bank had held interest rates unchanged at its December meeting and September meeting last year; it had previously only changed its interest rate in March 2009 when it reduced the rate 25bps to 3.25%.  Morocco reported annual inflation of 0.5% in November, with -0.4% deflation in October, 0.8% in September, 2.2% in August, 1.8% in July and 0.7% in June.  The Moroccan Dirham (MAD) last traded around 8.37 against the US dollar.

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Magyar Nemzeti Bank Keeps Base Rate at 7.00%

March 27, 2012 by CentralBankNews   Comments (0)

The Magyar Nemzeti Bank kept its central bank base rate steady at 7.00%.  The Bank said: "The Monetary Council has decided to leave the base rate unchanged. Monetary policy can best contribute to economic growth by maintaining a predictable economic environment, ensuring price stability and preserving the stability of the financial system. High volatility of risk perceptions and underlying inflation continue to warrant a cautious policy stance."

The Magyar Nemzeti Bank previously hiked the rate 50 basis points at its November and December meetings, after last raising it 25 basis points in January this year.  Hungary reported annual inflation of 5.5% in December, up from 3.9% in October, 3.6% in September and August, 3.1% in July, 3.5% in June, 3.9% in May, and 4.7% in April.  Hungary's Central Bank has a medium term inflation target of 3%, while the Bank said annual inflation for 2011 was 3.9 percent.

The Hungarian economy grew at an annual rate of 1.4% in the September quarter, 1.5% in the June quarter, compared to 2.4% in the march quarter, and 1.9% GDP growth recorded in the December quarter last year.  The Hungarian forint (HUF) has lost about 15% against the US dollar over the past year, the USDHUF exchange rate last traded around 219

www.CentralBankNews.info

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Central Bank of Turkey Maintains Policy, Repo Rate at 5.75%

March 27, 2012 by CentralBankNews   Comments (0)

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey kept its benchmark 1-week repo rate unchanged at 5.75%.  The Bank also held the lending rate at 11.50% and the interest rate on borrowing facilities for primary dealers at 11.00%, and lending rate on late liquidity at 14.50%.  The Bank said: "Inflation developments are in line with the path projected in the January Inflation Report. Yet, the Central Bank has implemented a new round of additional monetary tightening in order to eliminate the impact of recent cost developments on inflation expectations. Factors affecting inflation will be closely monitored in the forthcoming period and additional monetary tightening will be repeated, when necessary."

The Turkish central bank last cut the benchmark rate by 50 basis points when it held an emergency meeting in early August, the bank also cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 6.25% in January last year.  The Turkish central bank also adjusted required reserves in late July.  Turkey reported annual consumer price inflation of 10.45% in December, up from 7.7% in October, 6.7% in August, 6.3% in July, 6.2% in June, 7.2% in May, 4.26% in April, and 3.99% in March, and above the Bank's full year inflation target of 5.5%.  


Turkey's economy grew 1.7% in Q3 (1.2% in Q2), placing the Turkish economy up 8.2% on an annual basis (8.8% in Q2).  The Turkish Lira (TRY) has weakened by about 15 percent against the USD over the past year, and last traded around 1.79 against the US dollar.

www.CentralBankNews.info

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Bank of Israel Keeps Interest Rate on Hold at 2.50%

March 27, 2012 by CentralBankNews   Comments (0)

The Bank of Israel kept its benchmark interest on hold at 2.50%.  The Bank said "The decision to leave the interest rate for April 2012 unchanged at 2.5 percent is consistent with an interest rate policy that is intended to entrench the inflation rate within the price stability target of 1–3 percent a year over the next twelve months, and to support growth while maintaining financial stability. The path of the interest rate in the future depends on developments in the inflation environment, growth in Israel, the global economy, monetary policies of major central banks, and developments in the exchange rate of the shekel."

Previously the bank cut its monetary policy interest rate 25 basis points in January, November and September, leaving it unchanged at its June, July, and August meetings, and increasing the interest rate by 25 basis points to 3.25% at its May meeting this year.  Israel recorded annual inflation of 2.2% in December, 2.6% in November, 2.7% in October, 2.9% in September, 3.4% in August and July, 4.2% in June, 4.1% in May, and 4.0% in April and just inside the Bank's inflation target range of 1-3%.

The Bank expects the Israeli economy to grow about 3.1 percent this year and 3.5 percent next year.  The Israeli Shekel (ILS) has weakened about 6% against the US dollar over the past year, while the USDILS exchange rate last traded around 3.71.  The Bank next meets on the 23rd of April 2012.

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Central Bank News Link List - 26 March 2012

March 26, 2012 by CentralBankNews   Comments (0)

Here's today's Central Bank News link list, click through if you missed the previous central bank news link list.  Remember, if you want to submit links for inclusion in the daily link list, just email them through to us or post them in the comments section below.

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Monetary Policy Week in Review - 24 March 2012

March 23, 2012 by CentralBankNews   Comments (0)

The past week in monetary policy saw 8 central banks announcing monetary policy decisions.  Of those that changed interest rate levels, Mauritius cut its rate -50bps to 4.90%, and Ukraine cut -25bps to 7.50%, while Iceland increased +25bps to 5.00%.  Those that held interest rates unchanged were: Nigeria 12.00%, Egypt 9.25%, Thailand 3.00%, Taiwan 1.875%, and Colombia 5.25%.  On the required reserves front, Egypt cut its banks required reserve ratio by 200 basis points, Ukraine also eased reserve requirements, and the People's Bank of China selectively eased reserve requirements for 396 branches of the Agricultural Bank of China.


Looking at the central bank calendar, the week ahead sees the central banks of Israel, Hungary, Turkey, and South Africa meeting to review monetary policy settings. The base case would be for no change among all of these emerging market central banks. Elsewhere next week features speeches from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, ECB president Mario Draghi, Bank of Canada Governor, Mark Carney, and the Bank of England puts out its quarterly bulletin.

Mar-26
ILS
Israel
Bank of Israel
Mar-27
HUF
Hungary
The Magyar Nemzeti Bank
Mar-27
TRY
Turkey
Central Bank of Turkey
Mar-29
ZAR
South Africa
South African Reserve Bank



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