RBI

Introducing Raghuram Rajan, governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), at an Independence Day lecture on Wednesday evening, Sajjan Jindal of JSW Steel said he felt ‘at peace’ since the former International Monetary Fund (IMF) economist took over at the central bank last year. That was at a time of turmoil, as a financial crisis swept through emerging markets and the rupee plummeted.

“You’re at peace but you still want lower interest rates,” quipped Rajan in response. “They’ll come.” Continue reading »

Source: Reuters

The recent turmoil in emerging markets has hit India, reversing some of the the gains and optimism from the end of last year.

Early on Tuesday, the benchmark Sensex index was down 0.7 per cent to 20,062.48 in Mumbai, adding to significant losses in the last session and hovering around the psychological threshold of 20,000. That a level not seen since last October, although it has since recovered to be flat on the day.

It’s both global factors as well as news from home that are dragging India’s markets lower. Continue reading »

Raghuram Rajan, governor of the Reserve Bank of India (pictured), rarely fails to surprise.

He wished everyone “happy new year” with a 25 basis point hike in the repo lending rate on Tuesday – bringing it to 8 per cent – and added the woeful statement that economic growth would lose momentum in the third quarter of the current financial year.

The decision to hike rates goes against expectations, with economists in a Reuters poll last week forecasting that Rajan would hold steady. Continue reading »

Raghuram Rajan, the governor of India’s central bank, is keen on financial inclusion, an area where the country fares particular badly with around half the population without a bank account.

Perhaps one way of getting more Indian people and businesses into the financial system is to create basic banks that have no credit risk, but just take payments and deposits. Could it work? Continue reading »

Over Christmas, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) finally published a comment warning the public about the dangers of dabbling in Bitcoin. Raids have followed, forcing websites that trade the virtual currency to suspend operations.

Enthusiasts have long hailed Bitcoin as a panacea for India’s economic problems, from low rates of financial inclusion to an unsustainable demand for gold. But even the most zealous Bitcoin miners admit that the future of the virtual currency lies with the regulator – which seems to be wary. Continue reading »

Surprise! On Wednesday, India’s central bank kept the repo lending rate steady at 7.75 per cent and the cash reserve ratio at 4 per cent.

That went against the expectations of investors, analysts and economists who thought Raghuram Rajan, the governor of the Reserve Bank of India, would raise interest rates once again to crack the whip on inflation. Continue reading »

Counting them

India’s November inflation – the Wholesale Price Index version – is out and, once again, the news is worse than expected.

Year-on-year prices were up 7.52 per cent, compared with the 7 per cent forecast by Bloomberg and clocked in the previous month. Along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released last week, it suggests the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will indeed hike the repo lending rate on Wednesday. Continue reading »

The Reserve Bank of India is providing Rs50bn ($800m) to small enterprises for refinancing, a boost to businesses that are suffering from tight liquidity as Asia’s third largest economy slows. Continue reading »

Raghuram Rajan, India’s new central bank governor, faces a nervous few days as he waits for Federal Reserve tapering news later on Wednesday and ponders a tricky interest rate decision on Friday. But at least one of his initial wheezes, to support the rupee by attracting dollars from Indians living abroad, seems to be working out nicely – thanks in large part to the efforts of western banks.

 Continue reading »

By Hemindra Hazari of Nirmal Bang Institutional Equities

Since Raghuram Rajan took over as governor of the Reserve Bank of India on September 4, the battered rupee and India’s badly bruised stock and bond markets have staged a sharp recovery. Markets, it seems, believe the governor can restore confidence and revive inflows of foreign capital. Continue reading »

What to make of the “big bang” from incoming governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan, as he announced a set of unexpected reforms on his first day in office?

Well, the markets have given the ex-IMF economist the thumbs up. The rupee was up 1.5 per cent to 66 to the US dollar on Thursday morning, while the benchmark Sensex index rallied 2.2 per cent to 18,971.03. Continue reading »

Rajan arrives at the RBI

New RBI governor Raghuram Rajan’s first day in the job saw the rupee flirt with its all-time record low to the dollar, going beyond 68.6 before strengthening on Wednesday to around 67.1.

While all-time rupee records have been somewhat commonplace in the last month, it’s a reminder that Rajan faces quite a set of economic challenges, the rupee being one of the most pressing (see chart after the break). Continue reading »

There is no concept in economics akin to a baptism of fire but that is surely what awaits incoming Indian central bank governor Raghuram Rajan as he ponders what, if anything, can be done to protect his country’s ever-sinking currency, writes James Crabtree.

The rupee has lost more than a tenth of its value since May when remarks by US Federal Reserve governor Ben Bernanke first prompted investors to pull back from emerging markets, especially those like India encumbered by dangerously high current account deficits.

 Continue reading »