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Monetary Policy Week In Review - June 16, 2012

The past week in monetary policy saw interest rate decisions by 10 central banks around the world, with only one bank changing its rate while nine kept rates unchanged.

The week was dominated by news from the euro area: Spain's request for financial assistance for its banks and increasing nervousness ahead of Sunday's vote in Greece, which could determine its future in the euro. The European Central Bank put its weight behind proposals to expand the monetary union into a banking union.

Central banks across the world were loud and clear in expressing their concern over the impact the turmoil in euro area is having on growth prospects, and major banks reinforced their readiness to provide liquidity if needed. The Bank of England, which is not part of the euro, said it would provide liquidity at reduced rates to ensure there is no sterling shortage.

The one bank that altered interest rates was:

Iceland - raised its key rate 25 basis points to 5.75% following a 50 point increase in May.

Nine central banks kept their rates unchanged, decisions that were largely expected:

Indonesia at 5.75%

Thailand at 3.0%

Sri Lanka at 7.75%

Philippines at 4.0%

New Zealand at 2.5%

Chile at 5.0%

Egypt at 9.25%

Switzerland at 0-0.25%

Japan at 0-0.1%

NEXT WEEK:

The outcome of Greece's vote on Sunday will loom large, with all eyes on central banks if financial markets show signs of distress on Monday. On Monday and Tuesday leaders from the Group of 20 gather for a summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, and on Friday euro zone finance ministers (Ecofin) meet.

Looking at the central bank calendar , the week ahead features monetary policy decisions by India on Monday, which is expected to trim its policy rate and cash reserve ratio (Pending:CCR) in light of weakening economic growth. The U.S. Federal Reserve will hold a two-day meeting, which

ends with a statement on Wednesday, but a fresh round of quantitative easing appears unlikely following Chairman Ben Bernanke's Congressional testimony last week.

MEETINGS:

JUNE 18: RESERVE BANK OF INDIA

JUNE 19-20: U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE

JUNE 20: NORGES BANK (NORWAY)

JUNE 21: CENTRAL BANK OF TURKEY

CentralBankNews.info