By Diadie Ba
DAKAR, March 6 The Central Bank of West African
states said on Wednesday it had cut its key lending rate by 25
basis points to 2.75 percent, taking advantage of moderate
inflation to seek to stimulate growth in the eight-nation bloc.
It was the second cut to rates in eight months after the
bank trimmed its key lending rate by 25 basis points to 3
percent in June, citing political crises in Mali and
international economic uncertainty.
"Based on an analysis of the base of risks, the committee
decided to lower the main rate by 25 basis points," the central
bank's governor, Tiemoko Meyliet Kone, said after a meeting of
the Monetary Policy Committee in Dakar.
"In a context of moderate inflation, this decision aims to
consolidate the relaxation of interest rates with a view to
improving the financing conditions for growth in the heart of
the monetary union," he said.
The bank also cut its marginal lending rate by 25 basis
points to 3.75 percent from 4.00 percent.
The bank serves former French colonies Benin, Burkina Faso,
Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo, along with former
Portuguese colony Guinea-Bissau.
The states all use the CFA franc common currency, currently
tied to the euro at a fixed exchange rate of one euro to 655.957
CFA francs, with the peg guaranteed by the French treasury.