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Central Bank keeps key interest rates unchanged

THE BOARD of the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) decided on August 25 to keep key interest rates unchanged, although the markets are still expecting a fall hike after three rises already this year.

The key two-week repo rate thus remains at 4.5 percent, while refinancing operations stay at 6.0 percent, and the overnight repo rate for draining excess market liquidity remains at 3.0 percent.

The NBS raised key rates by 50 basis points in February, May and July to curb rising inflation.

The NBS also had to intervene twice in June to support the domestic currency. The first intervention came when the koruna rose to 38.55 SKK/EUR, while the second occurred at the end of the month when the exchange rate reached 38.48 SKK/EUR.

Now within the ERM II mechanism ahead of adoption the euro currency in 2009, Slovakia is obliged to keep its currency within a 15 percent fluctuation band around a central parity against the euro.

The central bank also intervened to defend the Slovak koruna in July, when the exchange rate pushed over 38.70/75 SKK/EUR.

Currently the domestic currency is being traded at around 37.70 SKK/EUR.

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