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NEWS UPDATES 18 November 2009

No rate hike as Philippine central bank reviews monetary policy   

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The Philippines’ central bank has begun a review of policy moves, intended to free up funds amid a global downturn, but said a tightening of key rates may not be forthcoming soon given a benign inflation outlook and tepid economic growth, local daily the Business World reported.

Ma. Cyd N. Tuaño-Amador, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) – the country’s central bank, assistant governor handling the monetary policy sub-sector, said the review was necessary since the crisis, which central bank officials feared would result in a domestic credit freeze, had essentially abated.

"We did some recalibration because of the crisis. Now that the crisis, particularly in the financial system, has passed, we need to review whether we need to withdraw some of the accommodation," she told reporters Monday night.

"We’re seeing capital reflow, which could pose some challenge to liquidity management. It will be a broad policy review of policy tool kits." The Monetary Board, which sets policy, next meets on December 17.

The central bank cut key rates by a total of two percentage points since December last year to free up liquidity. The overnight borrowing currently rate stands at a record low of four percent, and the overnight lending rate, at six percent.


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