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Congo raises key rate to 7% to check inflation

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(iStock)

Kinshasa - The Democratic Republic of Congo raised its key interest rate by 5 percentage points to 7%, citing accelerating inflation and "tensions in the foreign-exchange market," Governor Deogratias Mutombo Mwana Nyembo said.

The increase marks the first change in the base rate in almost three years and comes after the government’s foreign-exchange reserves dropped below $1bn for the first time since 2008.

Reserves have fallen by a third since the start of year as a sustained drop in prices for copper, oil and other key exports reduced government revenue, forcing the authorities to use reserves to support spending and protect the franc.

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