By Patrick Werr / Reuters
CAIRO: Egypt’s central bank kept its overnight deposit and lending rates unchanged on Thursday, in line with expectations after inflation increased only mildly in February and following a cut in the reserve requirement on deposits to help spur growth.
The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee kept its benchmark lending rate steady at 10.25 percent and the deposit rate at 9.25 percent after its regular meeting, it said on its website.
All five economists in a Reuters survey had forecast that the meeting would hold overnight rates unchanged. The bank also left the discount rate unchanged at 9.5 percent.
Egypt’s urban consumer price inflation, the most closely watched indicator of prices, accelerated to 9.2 percent year-on-year in February from 8.6 percent in January, an increase that analysts said was not cause for concern.
On Tuesday, Egypt’s central bank cut its reserve requirement on local currency deposits to 12 percent from 14 percent, a move analysts said would free up funds sitting idle at the central bank and supply banks with more cash to lend, both to the government and to business.