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West Africa Central Bank Keeps Lending Rates Unchanged

June 01, 2011

June 1 (Bloomberg) -- The Central Bank of West African States kept its key lending rates unchanged today.

The marginal lending facility rate was held at 4.25 percent, the minimum open market rate at 3.25 percent and the bank reserves requirement at 7 percent, the Dakar-based bank’s Monetary Policy Committee said in an e-mailed statement.

Inflation in the eight-member West African Economic and Monetary Union, which oversees the central bank, accelerated to 3.9 percent in March from 3.7 percent a month earlier, the statement said.

The central bank must ensure it curbs price pressures to help sustain economic growth in the region, Vice Governor Jean- Baptiste Compaore said today before the committee meeting.

The bank decided not to change rates at its last meeting in March to gauge the impact on the regional economy from a post- election crisis in Ivory Coast.

Laurent Gbagbo, who ruled the world’s top cocoa producer for a decade, refused to cede power to Alassane Ouattara after the November vote. He was captured in Abidjan on April 11 and Ouattara was sworn in on May 21.

The inflation rate in Ivory Coast, which Compaore called the “economic engine” of the region, rose to 5.8 percent in March from 5.1 percent in February, the economic union said.

--Editors: Emily Bowers, Kevin Costelloe

To contact the reporter on this story: Drew Hinshaw in Dakar via Accra at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at

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