March 19, 2020 / 8:37 AM / 9 days ago

Taiwan c.bank cuts policy rate for first time since 2016 to new low

TAIPEI, March 19 (Reuters) - Taiwan’s central bank cut interest rates for the first time in more than four years on Thursday, taking them to a record low, as the growing global fallout from the coronavirus pandemic hurts the export-reliant economy.

The central bank lowered its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 1.125%, it said in a statement after a policy meeting.

It was the first policy change since the second quarter of 2016 when it cut the discount rate to 1.375%.

The majority of the 17 economists in a Reuters poll had expected the central bank to cut the benchmark discount rate by 12.5 basis points to 1.25%.

It also said it would expand the scope of repurchase facility operations and provide banks with T$200 billion ($6.58 billion) of financing. ($1 = 30.4170 Taiwan dollars) (Reporting by Yimou Lee and Liang-sa Loh; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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