National Bank of Angola keeps key interest rates unchanged

1 June 2015

The National Bank of Angola decided to keep its benchmark interest rates unchanged, including the basic interest rate or BNA rate, at 9.25 percent, according to the latest decision by the Monetary Policy Committee, the bank said in a statement.

The statement issued Friday in Luanda also said the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the absorption facility were kept at 10 percent and 0 percent, respectively.

In April, the monthly inflation rate, measured by the Consumer Price Index of the province of Luanda, was 0.85 percent, up 0.34 percentage points compared to the same period of 2014 and the inflation rate was at 8.23 percent, up 0.36 percentage points on March.

The Luibor stood at 6.25 percent per year on the overnight and 8.41 percent and 9.99 percent per year with maturities of 3 and 12 months, respectively.

In April, commercial banks bought foreign currency worth US$1.47 billion on the foreign exchange market, of which US$1.357 billion was acquired from the BNA and the rest from their customers.

In the primary market, the average benchmark exchange rate for the Angolan currency against the dollar depreciated by 1.21 percent over March to 109.293 kwanzas per dollar.

However, the BNA announced it will increase the number of weekly auctions of foreign currency to commercial banks, one of the measures planned to “decompress” the current “currency crisis” in the country.

The decision came out of the latest joint meeting of the Economic and the Real Economy Committees, of the Angolan Council of Ministers and was announced by the BNA governor, José Pedro de Morais, recognising that banks had not been able to meet demand for foreign currency .

After the meeting on Thursday, the governor acknowledged that the 30 percent reduction in the introduction of foreign exchange by the BNA in commercial banking since the beginning of the year due to a drop in oil export revenues, was having an effect on the country’s business activities.

The weekly introduction of foreign currencies in May totalled US$300 million, and banks will have now have access to three weekly foreign exchange auctions by the BNA, compared to just two at the moment, and the bank planning to channel the demand from the informal market to currency exchange offices and banks. (macauhub/AO)