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Half-point rate cut had majority support

The Hungarian central bank's half-point interest rate cut Aug. 22 was supported by eight of 12 Monetary Council members, while the rest argued for a 25 basis-point step, the bank said in a statement today. Policy makers cut the benchmark two-week deposit rate to 6.25 % from 6.75 %, citing slowing core inflation, the measure which strips out volatile food and fuel prices. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point. Slowing inflation in Hungary, aided by a strong currency, allowed 11 consecutive cuts to the highest borrowing costs in the EU. (Bloomberg; NG 2, MH 11)