December 28, 2016 / 12:46 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Chile central bank board member wanted Dec rate cut -minutes

SANTIAGO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - One of the Chilean central bank’s four board members dissented from the majority decision to keep the benchmark interest rate steady in December and instead recommended a cut of 25 basis points, minutes from its monthly meeting showed on Wednesday.

The dissenting vote marked the board’s first non-unanimous decision in 15 months and points to growing sentiment for a cut in the rate from the current 3.5 percent.

The minutes of the meeting, held on Dec. 13, showed that the board members explored the option of cutting the rate. In its communique that day the bank flagged that monetary stimulus may soon be in the cards.

In its quarterly monetary policy report, released last week, the bank said its saw two interest rate cuts of 25 bps over the two-year policy horizon.

In a poll published simultaneously by the bank on Wednesday, a majority of 63 traders surveyed forecast a 25 bps rate cut at the bank’s next meeting in January and another 25 bps cut within three months.

The last time the central bank cuts its benchmark rate was in October 2014, when it reduced it by 25 bps to 3 percent. (Reporting by Gram Slattery; editing by John Stonestreet and W Simon)

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