June 2, 2017 / 1:57 PM / a year ago

Chile central bank board divided on rate decision - minutes

SANTIAGO, June 2 (Reuters) - Chile’s central bank board was divided on a decision to cut the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 2.50 percent at a policymaking meeting on May 18, minutes from that meeting showed.

Board member Joaquin Vial voted to keep the rate on hold, while the other four bankers opted for the cut.

“One board member expressed doubts that additional monetary stimulus was needed,” the minutes said, pointing to recent positive indicators in domestic consumption, salaries and consumer confidence.

Polls ahead of the decision had shown a majority in the market expecting that rates would be held unchanged.

Nonetheless, a rate cut had been forecast for the near future, and after the move, the bank adjusted its bias to neutral, indicating that its easing cycle was over.

The bank has cut the interest rate 100 basis points since the start of 2017, as it seeks to stimulate weak growth and investment in the top copper exporter.

Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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