LUSAKA, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Zambia's central bank raisedlending rates by 50 basis points to 8.5% on Wednesday, saying itwas ready to tighten further to tame rising consumer inflationdriven by "cost-push" pressures and a sharp deprecation in thecurrency.
"The bank of Zambia stands ready to further tighten monetarypolicy," Bank of Zambia Chris Mvunga said at a news conference.On the country's debt restructuring, Mvunga said government washaving "cordial discussions" with the International MonetaryFund (IMF).
Zambia became Africa's first pandemic-era sovereign defaultlate last year. It has requested a restructuring of its debtunder a new framework supported by the Group of 20 majoreconomies.(Reporting by Chri Mfula; Writing by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing byAlison Williams)