Pakistan rates up by half a point

The State Bank of Pakistan's rate-setting board has raised its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 10.5%.

The new rate applies from tomorrow until the end of June 2008.

Despite earlier rate hikes, core inflation rose to 8.7% in 2007, way above the central bank's 6.5% target. Shamshad Akhtar, the governor of the central bank, said that the risks to inflation outweighed those to growth in the near term, adding that growth for the last financial year was exactly on target at 7%.

The hik