Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Angola raises rate 25 bps as inflation rises, kwanza falls

    Angola's central bank on Monday raised its benchmark Basic Interest Rate (BNA) by 25 basis points to 9.25 percent, citing a rise in February inflation, a growing stock of credit and a depreciation of the kwanza's exchange rate.
    The National Bank of Angola, which last raised its rate in October 2014, also raised the rate on its standing facility for providing liquidity to 10.0 percent from 9.75 percent while the liquidity absorption rate was maintained at 0.0 percent.
    Last month the BNA slashed the liquidity absorption rate by 175 basis points at an extraordinary meeting of the bank's monetary policy committee following the government's approval of its 2015 economic program.
    Angola's inflation rate rose to 7.73 percent in February from 7.44 percent in January, with a 0.41 percentage point rise in the prices of food and alcohol the largest contributor to inflation. The government has forecast that inflation could rise to 9 percent this year.
   The stock of credit issued to the economy in February rose by an annual rate of some 14.2 percent to 3.388 billion kwanza, the bank said, adding that the average exchange reference rate of the kwanza in February depreciated by 2.02 percent to 106.276 per U.S. dollar from January.
    Angola, Africa's second-largest crude oil producer, is being hit by the fall in oil prices and the government has said revenue from oil will only cover 37 percent of spending compared with 70 percent in 2014.
     The kwanza has continued to depreciate this month, trading at 108 to the dollar today, slightly up from a record low of 108.15 hit on March 27.



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