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First Interest-Rate Hike in Six Years Dents Nigerian Stocks

  • Central bank raises rates by 150 bps; economists expected hold
  • Governor Emefiele sees need to attack inflation as ‘urgent’
A food vendor at a market in Mararaba, Nigeria.
A food vendor at a market in Mararaba, Nigeria.Photographer: KC Nwakalor/Bloomberg
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Nigeria’s central bank unexpectedly raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time in almost six years to curb accelerating inflation and boost portfolio inflows.

The monetary policy committee voted to hike the rate by 150 basis points to 13%, Governor Godwin Emefiele said Tuesday in a televised briefing in the capital, Abuja. That’s the first increase since July 2016. Only two of 10 economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast an increase -- one by 25 basis points and the other by 50 basis points.