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BUSINESS SHORTS

Central bank keeps interest rates unchanged

THE NATIONAL Bank of Slovakia (NBS) kept all key interest rates unchanged at its regular monthly monetary meeting on June 26. The decision leaves the key two-week repo rate at 4.25 percent, while overnight rates remain at 5.75 percent for refinancing operations and 2.25 percent for draining excess market liquidity, the NBS told the SITA newswire. The decision to keep the rates steady for the second month in a row was in line with market expectations.

"The bank board considers the current monetary policy setting to be appropriate," NBS Governor Ivan Šramko told the press.

This step confirms the end of a short cycle of easing monetary policy, said NBS spokesperson Jana Kováčová. The bank board lowered interest rates in two consecutive months after having left them untouched since February 2005. In March, the key two-week repo rate and overnight rates for refinancing operations were reduced by 0.25 percentage points, while the rate for draining excess market liquidity was reduced by 0.75 percentage points. In April, all three rates were cut by 0.25 percentage points.

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