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Press Release: CBK Raises Discount Rate by a Quarter Percentage Point to 2.75% From 2.50%

15.03.17 His Excellency the Governor and Chairman of The Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK), Dr. Mohammad Y. Al-Hashel, announced in a press statement that CBK Board of Directors decided to raise the discount rate by a quarter percentage point to 2.75% from 2.50% effective from 16-03-2017. The Governor added that this decision is based on the continuous monitoring by CBK of the domestic economic, monetary and banking conditions including movements of the KD interest rates in the domestic market taking into consideration movements in interest rates on major international currencies. Dr. Al-Hashel further explained that the decision to raise the discount rate reflects CBK’s efforts to ensure the continued competitiveness and attractiveness of the national currency as a store of domestic savings, which constitute a major source of funding provided by the local banking and financial units to the various sectors of the national economy and thus maintain a supporting environment for sustainable economic growth and development.

His Excellency the Governor noted that the discount rate in the State of Kuwait, which is set by CBK Board of Directors, is a central rate that sets within specified margins the maximum interest rates on KD borrowing from the local banking and financial units and, accordingly, raising the discount rate will allow CBK to utilize its monetary policy and liquidity management instruments to maintain the competitive and attractive returns on domestic KD savings compared with those on the major international currencies, particularly after the announcement by US Federal Reserve to raise the interest rates as of 15-03-2017.

The Governor and Chairman of The Board of Directors of CBK concluded his statement by emphasizing that CBK is keen to fulfill its responsibilities in the areas of monetary policy, banking oversight and supervision, as well as continue its monitoring of local and international economic developments and will move when necessary to ensure the enhancement of monetary and financial stability so as to support the sustainable growth and development of the national economy.