February 26, 2010 / 4:21 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil cenbank: ready to act to keep stability

* 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 )

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