Sri Lanka freezes rates; sees deposit and lending rates easing

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 12, 2013 02:40 hrs

COLOMBO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's central bank kept policy rates unchanged on Tuesday, as expected, to support faltering economic growth as it expected inflation to ease from March onwards, with a subsequent fall in deposit and lending rates in the near future.

"The Monetary Board was of the view that current monetary policy stance is appropriate," the central bank said in a statement.

The bank said deposit and lending rates would in forthcoming ensuing weeks in line with its 25 basis point policy rate cut in December - stimulating private sector activity.

The bank left the repurchase rate and the reverse repurchase rate at 7.50 percent and 9.50 percent respectively. It also kept the commercial banks' Statutory Reserve Ratio (SRR) steady at 8 percent.

A Reuters poll forecast that both rates would remain unchanged from these levels, their highest in three years. (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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