The government's plan to raise a part of its gross borrowing in foreign markets through a sovereign bond will strengthen the rupee, which is currently trading at an 11-month high. Experts believe that the rupee is performing well and there is nothing eyebrow-raising there. But the depreciation of other competitor currencies is a matter of concern.
"The rupee is a relatively good performer this year and I don’t think a degree of outperformance is huge or eyebrow-raising," said Pradeep Khanna, MD and head of FX trading of HSBC India. "It is within the ballpark of how currencies normally do move and we are on the stronger side.”
Khanna said there is a bias of appreciation of the Indian rupee in light of the government's foreign currency borrowing plan. "W
hile the Fed is cutting, it still looks like the US economy is doing far better than a lot of other economies in the world. I think the dollar will perhaps trade a little bit softer for the moment," he added.
If the rupee appreciates without huge volatility, it will benefit the economy. But a concern is that not only the rupee is appreciating, but many of the competitor currencies are depreciating, said Ajay Sahai, director general and CEO of Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO).
"We are concerned about how our competitive currency is performing and over that we hardly have any control,” said Sahai.
The rupee has appreciated nearly 9 percent from its October 2018 lows, while, on the contrary, the Chinese currency has depreciated around 7 percent, Sahai added.
Sajjid Chinoy, chief India economist, JPMorgan, said the Reserve Bank of India is intervening aggressively in the rupee's movement as it has bought between $10 billion and $12 billion in the last few weeks. "It is all being sterilised in the forward market, so you cannot see it in liquidity."
"On the INR/CNY if you go back the last two-three years, Rs 10 to a CNY seems to be a line in the sand so let us hope we don’t appreciate much beyond that,” added Chinoy.
Key highlights HSBC India Rupee may relatively be an outperformer this year Don't think the degree of outperformance by the is going to be huge Dollar likely to trade a bit soft for the moment Quite possible a hedged rupee return could be higher JPMorgan Balance of payments could be in a meaningful surplus this year One clear theme in the Budget was to attract more foreign savings Could see a lot of funds turn towards ems if the US Fed turns dovish RBI is intervening aggressively in the currency market Cleaner way of sterilising market is via forwards market, which RBI is doing FIEO
While the rupee is appreciating, many of its competitor currencies are depreciating China is trying to assess how to reduce the impact of tariffs on them China is mitigating tariff war impact with currency depreciation Worried about labour-intensive sectors that hardly have any import content Worried about traditional export sectors-need to monitor redemption of NRI deposits this year to gauge move See scenario for a relatively stable; bias is towards appreciating Worried about domestic manufacturing Tariffs will be nullified if the rupee appreciates If the rupee moves within a band w/o huge volatility, it will benefit the economy