Experts are expecting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to cut the repo rate by at least 25 basis points in the October monetary policy. One basis point is a hundredth of a percentage point.
“Our sense is RBI will still cut 25-40 bps this fiscal. The exact monetary policy decision in October will depend on where crude prices settle. So if crude prices are to settle sub $70 per barrel, we would still leave open the possibility that you could get a cut which is in excess of 25 bps,” said Abhishek Upadhyay, senior economist at ICICI Securities Primary Dealership.
“We do expect a rate cut to happen and we are going with 25 bps for this one,” Suyash Choudhary, head-Fixed Income at IDFC MF, said.
Choudhary and Upadhyay shared with CNBC-TV18 their expectations on the meeting between the finance ministry and bond market participants which is to be held on Wednesday.
“If we summarise what is happening both to the bond market and to the broader economy, it is largely the unavailability of adequate amount of risk capital. So despite provisioning of liquidity which, most including us thought, would solve the problem of term spread, the problem of very elevated term spread is not going away. Probably it is to do with the fact that the amount of risk capital that is available in play is much lower than the amount of bond supply that market is being called upon to absorb,” said Choudhary.
“Market still fears mark-to-market risk and therefore despite credit growth being weak, despite there being risk aversion in the system, despite core liquidity being surplus Rs 1,75,000 crore to Rs 1,90,000 crore today, you are witnessing term spreads of 130 basis points (bps) on the 10-year... we have to solve for the problem of higher term spread first and rate cuts alone as of now are not able to do so. So we have to find a way where demand were to pick up for government bonds first and then the riskier assets,” he added.
On crude prices, Upadhyay said, “We would think that $70 per barrel is a threshold where you could still get further accommodation. We expect RBI to cut their growth forecast quite sharply. In the past, they have typically downgraded growth in small chunks so it is possible that RBI downgrades the growth forecast quite significantly to sub 6 percent maybe 6.3-6.4 percent and that could form the stage for further accommodation."
In terms of growth and inflation, Choudhary said, “Monetary policy commentary has to be very clear in order to emphasise the forward guidance mechanism and the transmission that happens to bond yields because if monetary policy is two-way in commentary and is very wait-and-watch today, it will also impact the forward transmission in bond yields. So we have to pick one variable and comment around it, build policy around that.”