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Saudi central bank raises key interest rates ahead of US

Published: Updated:

Saudi Arabia's central bank raised its two key interest rates by 0.25 percentage points on Thursday in an apparent effort to prevent Saudi money rates from falling far below US rates.

The central bank lifted its repo rate, at which it lends to commercial banks, to 2.25 percentage points and its reverse repo rate, at which commercial banks deposit money with the central bank, to 1.75 percentage points.

In a brief statement, the Saudi central bank said only that its decision was "consistent with monetary stability in the evolving domestic and international monetary conditions".

On Thursday, the three-month Saudi interbank offered rate was 13 basis points below its US dollar equivalent -- the lowest spread since mid-2009.