Analysts polled by NewsIn anticipated BNR would slash the benchmark rate by maximum 0.25 percentage points to an annual 9.75 percent as a sign of economic slowdown but would keep constant the reserve requirements of banks.

The central lender decided in February this year to slash the key rate from 10.25 percent to 10 percent. The rate last stood at 9.5 percent per year in the interval March 27 – May 6 2008.

As a result of the cut in the benchmark rate, the two other rates tied to the monetary policy were also lowered. The lombard credit rate was slashed from 14 percent to an annual 13.5 percent while the interest rate for deposits was decreased from 6 percent to 5.5 percent.

The two rates are fixed within a symmetrical range of plus/minus 4 percentage points against the monetary policy rate.

BNR also decided to actively use market operations to adequately manage the liquidity in the banking system.

The BNR board decided on May 31 to cut to zero the minimum mandatory reserves of banks for Fx liabilities with two-year maturity, the first major decision after the country inked a deal with the International Monetary Fund.