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Belarus Lowers Key Rate to 23.5% From 25% in Fourth Decrease

Belarus’s central bank cut its benchmark refinancing rate, the world’s highest, to 23.5 percent from 25 percent as inflation slows.

The Natsionalnyi Bank Respubliki Belarus in the capital, Minsk, said slowing price growth and subsiding inflation expectations made room for the rate reduction, its fourth this year and effective June 10, according to an e-mailed statement.

“Further changes of the refinancing rate will depend on the general macroeconomic situation in the country, as well as price dynamics and inflation expectations,” it said today.

The central bank has shaved 6.5 percentage points off its refinancing rate this year and wants to bring it down to 13 percent to 15 percent in 2013. Policy makers will consider keeping borrowing costs above its target to ensure macroeconomic stability, Chairman Nadezhda Ermakova said in March.

The regulator raised the refinancing rate 12 times to 45 percent in 2011 to contain inflation that soared to 108.7 percent as the ruble depreciated 64 percent to the dollar.

The ruble has retreated 1.6 percent against the dollar and was at 8,705 per U.S. currency today, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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