Rate normalisation continues in the Philippines, despite the Japanese earthquake. Key rates have been increased by a quarter of one per cent, with the overnight lending (repo) and borrowing (reverse repo) rates standing at 6.5 and 4.5 per cent, respectively. Manila started raising rates only recently: the last rate rise – a quarter point in March – was the first since 2008.

“In deciding to increase policy rates anew, the Monetary Board noted that the latest baseline inflation forecasts continue to suggest that the 3-5 percent inflation target for 2011 remains at risk, mainly as a result of expected pressures from oil prices,” said the Bank. Annual inflation in the year to April edged up to 4.5 per cent, within the government target but at the upper end.

Manila has raised its key policy rates quarter of a point – as signalled – to combat rising prices and manage inflation expectations. The overnight borrowing rate now stands at 4.25 per cent and the overnight lending rate at 6.25 per cent. The interest rates on term repos, reverse repos, and special deposit accounts were also raised accordingly.

Inflation is running at the high end of the 3-5 per cent target range, and deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo said it would have averaged 5.2 per cent this year without today’s interest rate move. The central bank indicated further upward inflation pressure lay ahead, and that appropriate policy action would be taken. Analysts expect another one or two such rate rises this year, though some observed that domestic interest rate rises would have limited impact on imported global food and energy inflation.

For the first time since July 2009, the Philippines’ central bank has suggested it might be forced to raise rates. Inflation expectations have risen and “the scope for keeping rates has narrowed,” said governor Amanda Tetangco, according to Reuters news wire. “The BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) will make any adjustments to policy as and when necessary.”

The lending (repo) rate is at 6 per cent and the borrowing (reverse repo) rate is at 4 per cent. Read more

The Philippine central bank is signalling a rise in the rates it charges lenders to borrow from the bank.

Bangko Sentral governor Amando Tetangco said he might raise the re-discounting interest rate, used to regulate liquidity by increasing or decreasing the amount of money lent to banks. Currently the rate appears to be at 3.5 per cent. Read more

The central bank of the Philippines has voted to hold the overnight borrowing rate at 4 per cent and the lending rate at 6 per cent. London-based research firm Capital Economics expects the first increase in the overnight borrowing rate to occur in April, rising gradually thereafter by about 25bp, to end the year at 5.5 per cent. The rate will be increased to combat inflation amid rising government spending, though price rises are expected to be modest due to the peso’s rise against the dollar.

The central bank of the Philippines is offering an incentive for rural banks to merge and consolidate. The incentive may come in the form of money or regulatory relief, and will be applicable to mergers, acquisitions and consolidations with, or among, rural banks – especially those that are capital deficient. The monetary board of the Bangko Sentral ang Pilipinas (BSP) has approved the measure in principle.