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Azerbaijan Raises Key Interest Rate To Bolster Manat

Azerbaijan's central bank has raised its key interest rate for the fourth time this year in an effort to "boost trust in the national currency."

The central bank said the benchmark was increased to 15 percent from 9.5 percent, effective on September 14, as the manat continues its fall on the back of a slump in global oil prices.

Energy-rich Azerbaijan's central bank struggles to restore trust in the manat after two devaluations in 2015.

The currency lost about half its value against the dollar last year.

Most commercial lenders in Azerbaijan have halted foreign-currency sales in recent weeks as demand rose and the manat continued to depreciate.

Exports of hydrocarbons make up as much as three-quarters of state revenues.

Based on reporting by AFP and Bloomberg

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