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Angola Central Bank Keeps Benchmark Rate Unchanged at 10.25%

The central bank of Angola, Africa’s second-biggest oil producer, kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged to help boost the economy as the inflation rate was little changed in January.

The key lending rate, introduced in October, was left at 10.25 percent, Banco Nacional de Angola said in an e-mailed statement today from Luanda, the capital. The bank cut the rate for the first time last month, reducing it by a quarter of a percentage point after inflation slowed in 2011.

The rediscount rate dropped 50 basis points to 12 percent, while the Luanda interbank offered rate, or Luibor, was unchanged, the central bank said.

Inflation in Angola accelerated to 11.5 percent in January from 11.4 percent a month earlier, the statistics office said on Feb. 9. Angola targeted inflation of below 12 percent last year and plans to bring it down to 10 percent in 2012. The southern African nation’s economy expanded 3.4 percent last year, according to the International Monetary Fund. The government is forecasting growth of 12.8 percent for 2012.

The MPC was formed in August amid the country’s attempts to improve financial management after it secured a loan from the IMF in 2009. Commercial banks previously used domestic-bond yields and other financial instruments to determine lending costs for clients. The benchmark rate was set at 10.5 percent in the committee’s first decision announced on Oct. 28.

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