South Africa's central bank raises repo rate to 5.5 percent

PRETORIA Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:27am EST

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PRETORIA Jan 29 (Reuters) - South Africa's Reserve Bank raised interest rates for the first time in nearly six years on Wednesday, keeping in step with other emerging market economies that have tightened monetary policy to try to stem sharp falls in their currencies.

The Reserve Bank lifted the repo rate at which it lends to commercial banks by 50 basis points to 5.5 percent, saying pressures on the exchange rate were expected to intensify and the primary responsibility of the bank was to keep inflation under control. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Writing by Xola Potelwa; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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