18 Nov 2009 14:28

Kazakh National Bank may lower refinancing rate in spring

ALMATY. Nov 18 (Interfax) - The National Bank of Kazakhstan may lower its refinancing rate in the spring, the bank's chief, Grigory Marchenko, said during an on-line conference.

"If inflation in February-April next year stays low, the lowering of the refinancing rate is possible next spring," Marchenko said.

"If inflation is 5%-8%, the refinancing rate will be fluctuating from 5.25% to 8.5%. It will always be slightly higher than the annual inflation," he said.

The National Bank's policy is to keep the rate slightly positive in real terms, in other words ahead of the inflation growth. If inflation slows, the refinancing rate must fall too.

The National Bank had lowered the refinancing rate to 7% as of September 4. Prior to this the rate stood at 7.5% after being lowered from 8% on August 10. As of June 10, the refinancing rate was set at 8.5%, since May 12 - 9% and April 1 - 9.5%.