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BREAKING: MPC Keeps Interest Rate at 13%, Cuts CRR

The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee has agreed to keep the interest rate unchanged at a record high, as calls continue for a devaluation of the currency and continued fall in oil revenue.

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, told reporters on Tuesday that the MPC will be keeping the rate at 13 percent, while the cash-reserve ratio was cut to 25 percent from 31 percent.

A slump in crude prices by more than half in the past year has put pressure on the currency of Africa’s biggest oil producer, forcing the central bank to twice devalue the naira since November. Emefiele, 54, turned to foreign-exchange controls this year to stabilize the currency, resisting pressure from investors and even fellow MPC members who say the naira remains overvalued.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. excluded the nation from its local-currency emerging market bond indexes this month, concerned that the foreign-currency restrictions would make it difficult for investors to sell the securities. Emefiele’s opposition to a devaluation is backed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The naira has stabilized to trade at an average of 198.90 against the dollar on the interbank market since March after weakening almost 10 percent in the first two months of the year.

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