March 14, 2012 / 2:27 AM / 5 years ago

Sri Lanka keeps rates steady, cuts growth target

COLOMBO, March 14 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's central bank on Wednesday kept its key policy rates steady, contrary to market expectations for them to rise, and cut this year's economic growth target to 7.2 percent from an original target of 8 percent.

"The Monetary Board decided to maintain the Bank's policy platform unchanged for the time being," the central bank said in a statement.

The repurchase and reverse repurchase rates were held at 7.50 percent and 9.00 percent respectively. The market had expected both to raised by 50 basis points.

The central bank said higher energy costs, a decline in credit flows, and lower import-related activity due to its policy measures were likely to reduce economic growth to 7.2 percent in 2012 from the earlier projection of 8 percent. (Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal; Editing by John Mair)

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