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SNB May Raise Rates as Swiss Economy Defies Franc’s Strength

Swiss National Bank President Philipp Hildebrand may soon have room to raise borrowing costs for the first time in almost four years as the economy defies the franc’s surge.

Policy makers are weighing the threat of near-zero interest rates stoking property prices against the risk that an increase in the benchmark will push up the franc. While the currency has gained about 20 percent against the euro since the SNB cut its benchmark to 0.25 percent in March 2009, there are few signs that the exchange rate is undermining the recovery, with exports increasing and leading indicators signaling quickening growth.