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BOGOTA, April 25 (Reuters) - Colombia's central bank unexpectedly raised the benchmark lending rate for the first time in more than two years on Friday, as policymakers sought to ward off inflationary pressure as economic growth gathers pace.
The bank's seven-member board, headed by Jose Dario Uribe, increased the lending rate a quarter point to 3.50 percent, surprising investors who had expected the bank to hold the rate steady for a 13th month. The last time borrowing costs were increased was February 2012. (Reporting by Bogota newsroom)