Bank Policy Tuesday: RGR raises rates to 8% on Repo and 7% on Rev Repo

Maintaining the Channel at 1% and the CRR at 4% , the third quarter policy will go down well if markets in credit ( inter bank markets) continue to gravitate to reverse repo rates for borrowing in lieu of improved liquidity. Most hawkish analysts would improve their forecasts of rate hikes basis the new policy implemented in the third quarter. Our day’s review of Urjit Patel recos shows it is unlikely to be in an implementable form for some time and cannot be proposed into active roster during FY15 and probably FY16, but then it is a function of Central politics in 6 months from now

The Macro review admits to a loss of grow momentum. CPI declined as food groups obliged WPI at a four month low and the report notes the mall uptick in Cre inflation which is still very much below a healthy 2%

Hardening prices of services and key intermediates seen in conjunction with rising bank credit, increase in order books, pick-up in capacity utilisation and the decline in inventories of raw materials and finished goods in relation to sales suggests that aggregate demand pressures are still imparting an upside to overall inflation.

Policy stance incorporates the glide path to CPI envisaged in the UPA report in six months

Term repos were conducted in the later weeks of January despite Advance Tax payments to improve liq after Government Balances rose. Trade deficit is down by 25% in nine months. CAD has been forecast below 2.5% in March and CPI(Combined) expected to be ranging 7.5-8.5% at the end of the fiscal and FY15 before the next target of 6% kicks in.

The GDP fan shows a 4-7% range by Q4 FY 15 with expectations of growth from agri included in the RBI prognosis, forgoing their choice of a sticky move in Repo rates north to 8%. However the new Governor does admit this was an on the edge decision leaving further moves to the south probably open if his version of noise in the inflation is rested appropriately further, and improving chances of holding at 8% on the Repo rate and 9% on the MSF. On the whole, post policy action is still likely to raise interest rates in the Indian Economy now prior to the returning of the miracle grow / prodigal (not RGR reference obviously) though banks may not raise lending or deposit rates and Transmission issues remain with Banks using excess liquidity in borrowing from LAF for investments(govt borrowings/adjustment auctions)

Import controls, mostly on Gold brought CAD 1.2% in Q2 and the liquidity measures on Sept 5 , rejuvenating post impact from the currency crisis resulted in inflows of $9.1 Bn in equities and $14.1 Bln outflows in the Debt segment till Mid November (since May) were balanced apparently by $3.8 Bln in inflows in Debt since

MSF rate was only brought down by 150 bp since with elevated inflation expectations resulting in a repo hike of 50 p till now, which is likely achieved objective but still leaves the threat of increasing repo rates out, we would say another 50 b p is ready in the bag assuming yields travel to 8.5% , which would have been stable conditions this policy but are likely to be six months out from here given normal growth henc as yields likely move back to the 9 benchmark in the intervening period

Markets dipped on worries of UPA report making it and the unexpected rate hike before biting the bullet at 6130 levels during the presser.

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