Reactions to RBI’s Monetary Policy statement 2015-16

Chennai, Sep 29 (IANS) The following are some of the reactions from industry officials to the fourth bi-monthly Monetary Policy statement 2015-16, made by Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on Tuesday:

Mihir Vora, director and chief investment officer, Max Life Insurance:

The RBI has delivered a pleasant surprise by a 50 basis points cut in the repo rate from 7.25 percent to 6.75 percent, against market expectations of a 25 basis points cut.

The accommodative stance has been driven by a weak global environment, continuing slide in commodity prices and expectations of continuing sluggishness.

Financial market volatility after the Chinese currency devaluation has led to reversal of capital flows to many emerging markets. This uncertainty still persists.

RBI has increased the headroom for foreign portfolio flows into central and state government debt. This can potentially result in additional inflows of $30 billion over the next couple of years, with $5 billion in the next six months alone.

Bekxy Kuriakose, head – fixed income, Principal PNB Asset Management Company:

RBI delivered a pleasant surprise to bond markets by delivering 50 basis points cut in key rates as against market (and our) expectation of 25 bps cut.

RBI also laid out a clear roadmap for increase in Foreign Institutional Investor (FII)limits in a phased manner which is also a positive development for gilts and SDL (State Development Loans) market.

RBI has also simultaneously laid out a roadmap for reduction in banks’ statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) and held-to-maturity (HTM) ceiling.

Given the tepid credit growth, this would not affect demand; however going forward from next calendar year onwards it may gradually diminish banks’ appetite for government securities.

Anuj Puri, chairman and country head, JLL India:

The RBI has delivered an astounding 50 basis points reduction. With this, it has clearly abandoned its cautious baby-steps approach and assumed a bolder stance, obviously because the current economic fundamentals provide it with the room to do so.

Given the magnitude of this step, I do not think any further rate cuts are likely in this financial year, especially since the RBI foresees a moderate growth in inflation rate in the interim months.

For the affordable housing sector, the outlook is nevertheless bright, since the RBI governor has made provisions for lending to this sector to become less stringent and broader in scope.

Anshuman Magazine, Chairman & MD, CBRE South Asia Pvt. Ltd.:

This is a welcome move and will provide the necessary support to the economy as well as the real estate sector. The RBI’s proposal to reduce the minimum risk weightage on individual housing loans for low-cost homes will also help revive sales apart from lending support to the government’s ‘Housing for All’ scheme.

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