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Azeri Central Bank Cuts Benchmark Rate Second Time in Two Months

Azerbaijan’s central bank lowered the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, a second cut in about two months, to help stimulate growth beyond the oil industry where production has fallen.

The Baku-based regulator cut the rate to 4.75 percent effective Feb. 11, from 5 percent, it said by e-mail today. The rate was reduced to 5 percent from 5.25 percent on Dec. 10.

The third-largest oil producer in the former Soviet Union saw crude output decline for a second year in 2012 to 43 million metric tons. The non-oil economy expanded 9.7 percent last year, and the government plans to double the share of industries other than oil and natural gas in the economy in the next 10 years.

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