Hungary cbank voted 7-2 on Feb rate cut; two wanted to end easing

BUDAPEST, March 5 Wed Mar 5, 2014 8:21am EST

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BUDAPEST, March 5 (Reuters) - Seven of Hungary's central bank policy makers voted last month to cut the base rate by 15 basis points to a new low of 2.7 percent, while two members voted for keeping rates on hold, the minutes of the meeting showed on Wednesday.

Rate setters Gyula Pleschinger and Janos Cinkotai wanted to end the easing cycle, the minutes showed.

"A majority of the Council judged that there remained scope for reducing interest rates in the context of increased uncertainty in financial markets," the Monetary Council said in the minutes of the meeting.

"Members argued that developments in both inflation and the real economy were consistent with a further easing of policy and noted that its strong economic fundamentals clearly distinguished Hungary from those emerging market economies which had been faced with financial market turbulence recently."

The Council said it would decide "on the need and possibility for continuing the easing cycle" in March, after assessing the economic outlook and perceptions of risks about the economy in light of the bank's new inflation report.

The bank has reduced its base rate from 7 percent in an unbroken string of cuts that began in August 2012. (Reporting by Krisztina Than)

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