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Kuwait Economic

Source: Global Investment House

CBK cuts discount rate by 50 basis points

In a surprise move towards boosting the non-oil sector and supporting domestic liquidity and economic activity, the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) cut its discount rate by another 50 basis point on February 7th, 2010. As a result CBK discount rate reached a low of 2.5%, which was last seen in 2003. This was the first cut entering 2010 and the seventh cut since January 2008. Thus, the CBK is seen to be continuing its ongoing loose monetary policy to go hand in hand with the expansionary fiscal policy. As per CBK governor “the cut will provide the necessary environment conducive to boosting growth in non-oil sectors of national economy by reducing the cost of lending after indications that inflationary pressures have declined”. In a related note, he added that “inflation in April dropped for the seventh straight month to 5.2% after registering a record average of 10.6% in 2008”. In a related development, following the discount rate cut, the CBK cut its one week and one month repurchase rates by 25 basis points each to stand at 1.5% and 2.0% respectively.

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