Bank Policy Wednesday: India stands PAT on rates in December

Even as RBI shows concern about the retail inflation, it has probably factored in the welfare sustenance supply chain requirement that has necessitated a higher tick of Food inflation likely to last till 2015. Even though the jump in core inflation to 2.66% has reached worrying levels, the RGR regime has played it on the level, standing by the current Bank rate at 7.75% . As banks have already moved off the higher MSF lending or the last quarter, banks would anyway be unaffected by the lack of change but the markets can seriously take the impending rally’s mechanics from here .

The FOMC reports later in the India day, closer to midnight when they can , we agree, start with an early taper. However, The Fed meeting is likely to also be a sendoff for Ben Bernanke and so any such major policy announcements may be skipped for Janet Yellen to attend to in February, April or even June 2014 and as the Fed has managed so adroitly, the Taper would not mean tightening. Though the Dollar remains weak, the Taper is unlikely to still avoid the Dollar strengthening into a vise like grip on the US own Economy.

On India’s Policy announcement, the 7.5% mark would have been even better but as noticed concerns on Food and Primary inflation are real and may spill over to Core inflation unless kept in check. The RBI Governor notes that Vegetable prices that jumed 99% in the Friday WPI report may fall sharply.

Yesterday’s Review noted, in the overall scenario

In India, the pick-up in real GDP growth in Q2 of 2013-14, albeit modest, was driven largely by robust growth of agricultural activity, supported by an improvement in net exports. However, the weakness in industrial activity persisting into Q3, still lacklustre lead indicators of services and subdued domestic consumption demand suggest continuing headwinds to growth. Tightening government spending in Q4 to meet budget projections will add to these headwinds. In this context, the revival of stalled investment, especially in the projects cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Investment, will be critical.

Banks have garnered $34 Billion from FCNR Deposits and India’s FX reserves have jumped at a $5 Bln every week from $277 Bln odd at the end of November and now at $291 Bln. RBI continues to flag the negative output gap and even a slowdown in Services

Also factored into the December decision is the virtual shutdown in Spending by the Government from January as revenues remain not so robust, which would strain interbank liquidity (LV?CNBC18)

It is good that RBI has returned to not being overtly reactive to the inflationary economy and GDP in March could have a larger chunk of the good news premium Indian data has been lacking since the year began.

Bank Policy Tuesday: RBI Governor completes policy action

inflation
inflation (Photo credit: SalFalko)

With the forced liquidity constraints as the currency devolved on the nation in June ( after May 21 announcement) RBI was stuck in the middle of a rate cut leg of its policy to encourage growth. Already hampered by banks using Central Bank liquidity to the extent of INR 2 Tln instead of market, the Central bank’s rate hike onsequently in September even as the MSF hikes were redacted and brought back to the normal line may finally break the back of the markets on the verge of a bullish move from 6200.

The only inflation out of control however is the Food inflation which may not respond to any rate hikes and this rate hike may just be a mechanistic response continuing since Duvvoori Rao demitted office to stabilise the higher rate environment, in which case India may old these levels for a good six months, and in developed markets this new intermediate leg could have lasted years, till the rate cuts can begin again.

Meanwhile consumer staples will continue to see large double digit price increases to correct 2-3 years of suppressed marketing budgets and pricin pressures unrequited to keep basic sales growth alive in consumer markets

The announced policy steps however will increase bank rates and as retail lending has reounded such increases are largely going to be absorbed by consumers and however will have had debatable impacts on fueling furthr inflation now controlled by bank rates. NBFC business is already looking better in consumer durables with a clampdown on 0 interest loans and while that may not segment the market in favor of first time durable buyers that have been an absent quantity fooling marketers and policymakers, it will continue to better control the negative output gap with more advantages for NBFC lending even for banks that have already relied a fair portion of their portfolio on the sector at the expense of obviating the real winning consumer sectors or industry sectors winning n the changed scenario

RBI hiked rates 25 bp and MSF channel has returned to 100 bp over the repo rate clearing the path for a return to the Repo rate as the Bank rate.. WPI forecast has been banded to the central bank’s comfort zone as 6-7%. GDP growth is updatd to 5% for FY 2014

The banks lead the Nifty comeback post policy action as they assume the deed is done and currency will consolidate around 61-62 levels before going back to the trade deficit control led highs nearer 60-61 levels The sponsored rally ost policy is however blushingly even across non actors and non performers in the banks bunched with YES Bank, ICICI Bank and even HDFC Bank and Axis Bank. IDFC has recovered its morning deficit too. BOB is up 15 pointsand BOI is in the positive with Pharma/result candidate DRL also staging a mini rally. The short on LIC Housing ahead of results has also disappeared and tomorrow’s results are likely to see fat positives as sentiment needs a good build up and inflows ontinue to allow market makers to perform as such and the Financials are likely to reward investors who stuck through the unreasonable 2 months pre the last MSF related policy action. Further policy action unless embargoed by inflation is likely to stay with seeing the bank rate climb down from the current MSF 8.75% to the Repo rate of 7.75% ( The Revese Repo is 6.75% where  RBI issues new collateral securities)

 

India Morning report: Oil signals treated as critical sell levels for the Rupee (This week in Asia on advantages.us)

English: Graph showing Indian rupee and U.S. d...
English: Graph showing Indian rupee and U.S. dollar exchange rate from January, 1990. 日本語: 1990年1月からのインド・ルピーとアメリカドルの為替レートのグラフ。 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An old adage for the market, it is now a repeated phenomena in the global markets for India to retain the dubious double distinction of heralding global commodity lows and be cornered by the slightest sentiment building in Oil. The day thus is a weak barometer but may soon gain ‘tumbling’ significance for global currency markets as the Rupee will be decimated to even beyond 65 levels if Oil rally does gain strength.

However as it is unlikely to happen for now, long investors may not be able to leave Indian shores before it eventually does, giving the upper hand to hot money flows as opportunities run out with the Yen at 99 and Euro also not facing new substitute demand, yields going up from global lows in various central bank auctions in Europe throughout June bringing short term rates to near above 0.5% and even closer to the 1% mark from momentum extrapolation(as will likely show)

The Indian Rupee has been closely pinned down earlier in 2009 and lack of buyers remain its “new” worry in global trade share increases as Yuan manages a smaller volatile range despite an equally suspect recovery path due to a paradigm change from South east, Coast Only development to a more homogeneous spread as legitimised by a 5 year plan.

Back to matters at hand PSUs like BOB will probably lead the bank indices down even as most new banks will make likely a good sector lending structure possible in the higher spending towns and villages of India that have kept Rural CPI apace at double digits till now. Muthoot’s Bank may indeed be a new kind of entrepreneurial venture in banking as long as they meet RBI conditions and manage not just the minimum net worth cap but raise the bar for fellow new anks to the desired but not contingent levels of INR 2500 crores of $400mln and even INR 10000 crores or $1.6 bln whnce an opportunity the size of India may be deemed fit. This size of course may not be ready on day 1 but should nonetheless be planned to those levels with capitaal lines tied as was behind the uccess of private insurance in its infancy in 2000s

100% telecom FDI for India thus might mean in an indirect way, better days for Oil consumers even as demand returns to the US market after a good 6-8 weeks in yesterday’s reported data and are critical for the market to retain 5750 levels on equity indices. ITC and Bharti remain on the up and up in block deals for FIIs or even program trading where such volume is amenable. Yes Bank might see another block of additions by FIIs as it exits a RBI ban on foreign investments and has quite some potential before reaching the allowed 75% levels currently in the sector HDFC/Bank prognostications for a 100% FDI in the sector linking its scrip fortunes to the same may see thus a longer gestation period till the new government is in place in 2014 and indeed starts picking up the courage to forget its pre electoral hang ups with FDI if any

 

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