Kenyan central bank cuts key lending rate to 8.25%


NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s central bank monetary policy committee cut its benchmark lending rate to 8.25% on Monday from 8.50%, saying the economy was operating below potential and there was room for a more accommodative monetary policy.

The bank cut the benchmark rate in November by 50 basis points, the first cut after holding it for seven straight meetings.

“The Committee … noted that there was room for further accommodative monetary policy to support economic activity. The MPC therefore decided to lower the CBR to 8.25 percent,” the bank said in a statement.

In a Reuters poll of eight economic analysts last week, all expected the rate to be held steady.

Governor Patrick Njoroge told Reuters in November that the scrapping of an interest rate cap, in place since 2016, had removed one of the concerns the central bank had about cutting the lending rate.

Reporting by George Obulutsa and Omar Mohammed; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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