March 28, 2018 / 11:07 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Rwanda central bank holds key repo rate at 5.5 pct

(Adds details)

KIGALI, March 28 (Reuters) - Rwanda’s central bank held its benchmark lending rate at 5.5 percent on Wednesday since its easing stance was starting to offer results, its governor John Rwangombwa told a news conference.

Private sector credit growth had risen to 9.3 percent in February, from 7.4 percent a year earlier, and it was expected to head to 15 percent by the end of this year, he said.

Policymakers cut the rate by 50 basis points at their last meeting in December to spur lending and boost economic growth.

The economy was likely to expand by 7.2 percent this year, up from an estimated 6.1 percent last year, the finance minister said last Friday.

The franc currency was expected to depreciate by 4 percent this year while inflation would remain contained below 5 percent during the same period, Rwangombwa said.

Reporting by Clement Uwingiriyimana Writing by Duncan Miriri Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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