Kuwaiti central bank slashes discount rate by half percentage point

10:03, February 08, 2010      

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Kuwait's Central Bank (CBK) on Sunday slashed the discount rate by half a percentage point to 2.5 percent in a latest move to stimulate the growth of the non-oil sectors.

Sunday's reduction in the discount rate was the sixth that the CBK has made since October, 2008.

CBK Governor Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz Al-Sabah said the move came at a time when indicators showed the inflation pressure has continued to ease.

Kuwait is the fourth-largest exporter of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and holds around 10 percent of the world's proven oil reserves.

The emirate has accumulated more than 120 billion U.S. dollars of budget surplus in the past decade and is expected to pocket the 11th straight year of surplus in the 2009-2010 fiscal year that ends on March 31.

Kuwait has been pursuing to diversify its oil-dependent economy and build the nation into a financial hub.

On Tuesday, the country's parliament approved the 2010-2014 state development plan, the first in more than 20 years, to invest more than 100 billion dollars in projects ranging from oil facilities to the building of a business center.

Sheikh Salem said the CBK would closely follow the development in the economy and take necessary steps to boost sustainable growth in different sectors.

Source: Xinhua
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