Peru central bank lowers reserve requirements 50 basis points

LIMA, March 30 Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:57pm EDT

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LIMA, March 30 (Reuters) - Peru's central bank will lower reserve requirements for bank accounts denominated in the sol currency to 12 percent from the previous 12.5 percent as part of a drive to stimulate lending.

The new rules go into effect from April 1, the bank said in a statement on Sunday. It is the fifth month in a row that the bank has lowered the rate in this way.

The measure should inject around 500 million Peruvian sols ($178 million) into the local financial system.

Reserve requirements are the percentage of deposits financial institutions such as banks have to maintain in cash in their vaults or in accounts with the central bank.

Peru's economy expanded just over 5 percent last year, its slowest rate of growth in four years. ($1 = 2.8105 Peruvian sols) (Reporting by Marco Aquino, Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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