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NBS keeps interest rates on hold

The board of directors at Slovakia's central bank (NBS) decided at its regular session on October 30 to leave key interest rates unchanged for the sixth consecutive month following cuts in March and April. The decision left two-week repo tenders at 4.25 percent, with overnight sterilisation operations at 2.25 percent and refinancing operations at 5.75 percent.

"Since the last NBS session a month earlier, the Slovak crown has firmed by some 2 percent, counterbalancing higher-than-expected inflation in September fuelled by higher food prices," said Slovenská Sporiteľňa analyst Mária Valachyová in reference to the central bank's decision.

This March, the monetary authority cut the rates for both the two-week repo tender and refinancing operations by 0.25 percentage points. The rate for sterilisation operations were lowered by 0.75 points in January. All three rates were cut by 0.25 percentage points in April.

Last year, the NBS raised its key rates by 0.5 percentage points in February, May and July in order to curb inflation. In another move in September that took the market by surprise, raising key rates by 0.25 points to bring the two-week repo rate to its highest level in recent years - 4.75 percent. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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