November 23, 2017 / 1:42 PM / 25 days ago

Kenya central bank holds main lending rate at 10.0 pct

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya’s central bank held its benchmark lending rate at 10.0 percent on Thursday for the seventh time in a row, citing muted inflation that was expected to drop further, the Monetary Policy Committee said.

A teller serves a client with Kenya shilling notes at the cashier's booth of a forex exchange bureau in Kenya's capital Nairobi, April 20, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

All 15 analysts polled by Reuters last week had predicted the hold decision mainly due to the impact of a cap on commercial lending rates, which is complicating policy.

The year-on-year rate of inflation slowed to 5.72 percent last month, its lowest level in 17 months, as prices of food items fell following good rains that boosted harvests.

The exchange rate remained stable and it was backed by healthy hard currency reserves, the MPC said, adding that private sector credit had expanded by 2.0 percent in the year to October, from 1.7 percent the previous month.

Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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