The Central Bank of Tunisia keeps the main interest rate unchanged at 8%.

Tunisia, February 1, 2023 (Xinhua) The Central Bank of Tunisia decided today (Wednesday) to keep the main interest rate unchanged at 8 percent.

The bank said in a statement published this evening on its official page that its board of directors decided during its regular meeting today to “keep the main interest rate of the Central Bank of Tunisia unchanged at the level of 8 percent.”

The statement added that the central bank’s board of directors “noted at the national level the worsening trade deficit, which reached a historical record level.”

And he considered that this deficit “kept the pressure on the exchange reserves (the country’s foreign exchange reserves), which remained at a level close to what was recorded at the end of the year 2022, i.e. 22.3 billion dinars (6.968 billion dollars), which is equivalent to 97 days of supply on the 31st. January 2023″.

The statement indicated that the bank’s board of directors discussed, during its regular meeting, “the recent decision taken by the international rating agency (Moody’s), which lowered Tunisia’s sovereign rating by one degree, that is, from Caa1 to Caa2, with negative prospects.”

He explained that his board of directors “discussed the possible repercussions of this deterioration in the sovereign numbering on the financial and economic situation in general, and in particular with regard to the potential negative impact on the normal course of foreign trade transactions carried out by Tunisian banks and related in particular to imports of basic materials.”

In this regard, he stressed, “the need to urgently fulfill the preconditions for completing the new program with the International Monetary Fund and to accelerate the implementation of the necessary reforms in order to correct imbalances in the budget as well as external imbalances.”

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On January 28, the official Tunisian News Agency announced that Moody’s had decided to downgrade Tunisia’s sovereign rating from “Caa1” to “Caa2” with negative prospects.

It added that Moody’s credit rating agency “has also downgraded the Central Bank of Tunisia, which is legally responsible for payments relating to all treasury bills, to Caa2, with negative prospects as well.”

Moody’s also downgraded Tunisia’s unsecured external debt rating from the state and the central bank to “Caa2”, with negative prospects as well.

And the Tunisian News Agency indicated that this classification “Caa2” means that “the government and the central bank are exposed to high risks at the level of the possibility of inability to fulfill financial obligations.” /ts/

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