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| 17 August, 2017

Egypt's central bank keeps key interest rates unchanged

Central Bank of Egypt Headquarters is seen in Cairo .

Central Bank of Egypt Headquarters is seen in Cairo .

REUTERS/Tarek Mostafa

The bank has raised key interest rates by a total of 700 basis points, or 7% points, since it floated the pound in November as part of a $12bln International Monetary Fund programme



CAIRO, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Egypt's central bank kept its key interest rates unchanged on Thursday at a meeting of its monetary policy committee, it said in a statement, after it had raised them by a total of 400 basis points in the previous two meetings.

The bank has raised key interest rates by a total of 700 basis points, or 7 percentage points, since it floated the pound in November as part of a $12 billion International Monetary Fund programme aimed at boosting the economy.

It kept the overnight deposit rate at 18.75 percent and the overnight lending rate at 19.75 percent on Thursday, in line with the expectations of all 11 economists polled by Reuters this week.

Inflation has been climbing up since the float in November. Key inflation rates soared to multi-decade highs last week on the back of energy subsidy cuts agreed with the IMF.

The government in June hiked fuel prices by up to 50 percent and electricity prices by up to 42 percent in an attempt to narrow its gaping budget deficit.

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Egypt's economic growth has deteriorated since a 2011 uprising drove tourists and foreign investors away, draining foreign reserves and putting pressure on President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who has to maintain support amid the tough economic reforms.

(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by John Stonestreet and Alison Williams) ((ahmed.aboulenein@thomsonreuters.com; +20 2 2394 8097; Reuters Messaging: ahmed.aboulenein.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))