Russia chops another half point off benchmark rate

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The Central Bank of Russia on Friday lowered its benchmark interest rate by half a point to 11% after earlier cuts failed to reduce the cost of credit.

Friday's cut is the fourth since April, but borrowing costs have failed to tumble in line with official rates. Central bank officials have complained that banks are not passing on the cuts.

But, even if companies were benefiting fully from the central bank's loosening, Russian rates would still be relatively high.

Compared to its Bric

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