* Brazil cenbank says ready to take unpopular measures
* Aims to keep stability in the financial system (Recasts, updates with context)
BRASILIA, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Brazil’s central bank is prepared to take unpopular measures to maintain stability in the financial system, the bank’s president Henrique Meirelles said on Friday, further preparing the ground for a rate hike.
The central bank has to do what is necessary in the “adequate time and measure” to keep the financial system and inflation stable, Meirelles said in a speech in Brasilia.
Analysts expect the central bank could raise its benchmark interest rate from a current record low of 8.75 percent as early as next month -- a view that was reinforced when the central bank this week began unwinding measures taken during the global financial crisis to boost liquidity.
Brazil’s longest-serving central bank president also said that monetary policy would not be affected by the October 2010 elections.
Meirelles has to leave office by April 2 if he decides to run for office in this year’s elections. (Reporting by Isabel Versiani, Writing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa. Editing by W Simon )