Romania c.bank cuts rates to record low, minimum reserves

BUCHAREST Wed Jan 8, 2014 7:04am EST

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BUCHAREST Jan 8 (Reuters) - Romania's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to a new record low of 3.75 percent on Wednesday, underpinned by low inflation and weak lending but stepping closer to the end of an easing cycle.

The bank also decided to cut its minimum reserve requirements for both leu currency and hard currency liabilities to 12 and 18 percent, from 15 and 20 percent respectively, which is expected to boost market liquidity.

The central bank has cut rates by 150 basis points since July. It started its easing cycle later than its emerging European peers due to persistently high inflation. Wednesday's cut was in line with analysts' expectations. (Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Radu Marinas)

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