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Russian central bank makes surprise interest rate cut

[MOSCOW] Russia's central bank cut its key interest rate by two points to 15 per cent on Friday, as the economy slides towards recession because of a collapse in global oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

The central bank said in a statement it was reducing its one-week minimum auction repo rate, which had been 17 per cent, seeing conditions for a reduction in inflation in the medium-term.

The bank hiked its key rate by a total of 11.5 percentage points last year in response to panic on the currency market and soaring inflation, which reached 11.4 per cent in December.


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