Egypt Central Bank Keeps Benchmark Interest Rate Unchanged

Egypt’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged even after receiving $6 billion in deposits from Gulf Arab allies to boost its foreign-currency reserves.

The central bank kept the overnight deposit rate at 8.75 percent and the lending rate at 9.75 percent, according to a statement on its website. The median estimate of four economists in a Bloomberg survey was a 25 basis-point cut in the benchmark rate.

The Gulf deposits, pledged during an economic conference last month, will help raise Egypt’s reserves to the highest level since October 2011, less than a year after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising.

Egypt’s annual urban inflation accelerated to 11.5 percent in March from 10.6 percent a month earlier, while core inflation stood at 7.21 percent.

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