People walk in front of the new headquarters of Central Bank of Egypt, which is secured by cement blocks, in downtown Cairo, Egypt July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
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Egypt cut interest rates for the first time since floating the currency at the end of 2016, starting a widely anticipated easing cycle after record-high borrowing costs helped curb inflation and attract $20 billion into local-currency assets.The monetary policy committee led by Gov. Tarek Amer lowered the overnight deposit rate by 100 basis points to 17.75 percent. The overnight lending rate was also reduced by 100 basis points to 18.75 percent.The central bank had raised borrowing costs by 700 basis points after it abandoned currency restrictions as it sought to control inflation and stabilize the pound. Annual inflation, which peaked at 33 percent in July, has eased for six months in a row to 17.1 percent in January.
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