Angola Central Bank Keeps Benchmark Rate Unchanged at 10%

April 30 (Bloomberg) -- The central bank of Angola, Africa’s biggest oil producer after Nigeria, kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a third month as inflation accelerated.

The key lending rate was left at 10 percent, the Luanda-based Banco Nacional de Angola said in a statement on its website yesterday. The bank lowered the rate by a quarter of a percentage point in January, only the second cut since it was introduced in October 2011.

Inflation quickened to 9.1 percent in March from 9 percent in the previous month, the statistics office said on April 12.

The bank said it took into consideration the inflation data, conditions in the economy and credit demand in order to “contribute to the maintenance of price stability.”

The Monetary Policy Committee was created to help improve financial management after Angola secured a loan from the International Monetary Fund in 2009. The southern African nation, which is also the world’s fifth-biggest diamond producer by value, is rebuilding its economy after a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002.

The kwanza was at 96.277 against the dollar at the central bank’s weekly currency auction on April 26, when it sold $580 million, the bank said on its website. The Luanda Interbank Offered Rate for overnight lending is 6.2 percent today, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Colin McClelland in Johannesburg at cmcclelland1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net