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FNBB expects interest rates to drop

MBONGENI MGUNI
FNB
The country's biggest bank, First National Bank Botswana, expects the central bank to cut the bank rate by at least 25 basis points at some point this year.

Speaking at a post-budget review, Gomolemo Basele, a quantitative analyst with FNBB, said the bank expected to trend low this year, giving room for the Bank of Botswana to lower the bank rate.

The bank rate is the benchmark against which all other rates in the market, both lending and deposit, are set against.

While the BoB is traditionally conservative and reluctant to adjust the bank rate, it has

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pursued an accommodative monetary policy stance for several years under which it seeks opportunities to make lending cheaper, thus helping broader economic growth.

FNBB’s forecasts are generally in line with other market analysts and the central bank itself which has said inflation should remain below the lower bound of the three to six percent objective range, at least for the first half of the year.



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