Egypt Central Bank keeps key rate unchanged at 9.75%

 Egypt’s central bank today kept its benchmark overnight deposit rate unchanged at 9.75 percent.

The overnight lending rate was also maintained at 10.75 percent, the Cairo-based bank said in a statement. Governor Hisham Ramez was expected to raise the deposit rate by 25 basis points to 10 percent, according to the median of six estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

Egypt’s inflation accelerated to 8.1 percent in April, pushed up by rising food prices that are pressuring the government as it seeks to conclude a $4.8 billion International Monetary Fund loan. More than two years after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt is mired in a polarizing and sometimes violent battle between supporters and opponents of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

The turmoil hurt revenue from tourism and dried up foreign investments in local-currency government debt. It has also disrupted efforts to conclude the IMF loan accord, which authorities say can unlock more funds in external support.

The central bank raised the deposit rate in March, the first increase since November 2011.

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