CBJ hikes interest rate on monetary policy instruments by 50 basis points

(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) on Sunday raised the interest rate on various monetary policy instruments by 50 basis points, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. اضافة اعلان

The decision goes into effect as of Monday.

The CBJ’s open market operations committee also decided to continue fixing preferential interest rates on loans granted by banks within the CBJ’s program to refinance vital economic sectors, amounting to JD1.3 billion at 1.0 percent for beneficiary projects within capital Amman and 0.5 percent for other enterprises in the remaining governorates.

This step was taken according to the fixed interest rate over the loan period, which extends for 10 years, as 10 sectors are currently benefiting from this program.

The committee also decided to extend a JD700-million program aimed to support SMEs, professionals and craftspeople, and importers of basic commodities for an additional two months.

Under this program, the committee decided to maintain the interest rate at no more than 2 percent, with loans to be repaid in 54 months, including a grace period of up to 12 months.

The committee’s decisions reflect the CBJ’s “unwavering” commitment to maintaining monetary stability in the Kingdom, preserving attractiveness of assets denominated in Jordanian dinars against the US dollar and other regional and international currencies.

The CBJ’s steps also aim to align structure of domestic interest rates with similar regional and international financial markets’ policies and fixing preferential interest rates unchanged on loans benefiting from the CBJ’s programs to support path of economic recovery. It also aims to support productive economic sectors with high added value to the national economy, a CBJ statement said.

The committee’s decisions also reflect persistence of inflationary pressures in regional and international economies, compared to rates targeted by central banks, which contributed to the high inflation rates recorded this year in the Kingdom and its expectations in the near term.

Jordan’s annual inflation rate reached 5 percent in November 2022, bringing the average inflation rate to 4.2 percent over the past eleven months of 2022, compared to 1.2 percent during the same period last year, the CBJ noted.

The available data for the last period of 2022 reveals the Jordan’s strong performance in monetary and banking sector indicators. It also noted that the CBJ’s foreign reserves stood at $16.7 billion, which is considered high and is sufficient to cover the Kingdom’s imports of goods and services for a period of 8.7 months.

Over the last 10 months 2022, bank deposits hiked by JD2.4 billion, marking a growth of 6.1 percent, bringing their balance to JD41.9 billion at the end of October.

Meanwhile, credit facilities granted by banks increased by JD2.3 billion during the same period, with a growth rate of 7.6 percent, bringing their balance to JD32.3 billion.

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