The first cut, of 75 bps, was done on September 20 in the mid-quarter review of the monetary policy.
RBI has also decided to provide additional liquidity through term repos of seven-day and 14-day tenor for a notified amount equivalent to 0.25 per cent of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) of the banking system through variable rate auctions on every Friday, beginning this week.
The move is the latest by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan to return monetary policy settings towards normal after a harrowing run for the rupee, which had fallen 20 per cent this year, as of late August. The currency weakened 0.6 per cent to 61.80 a dollar on Monday.
“The notified amount and tenor of the term repo auctions will be announced prior to the dates of the auctions,” RBI said on Monday. It also infused Rs 9,974-crore liquidity through open-market purchase operations. Due to the cut in MSF rate, the bank rate also stands adjusted at nine per cent.
Some banks see the possibility of a cut in lending rates. Bank of Baroda CMD S S Mundra said a reduction of 25-50 basis points in lending rates in some products was possible. “Since this is traditionally the busy period and since the reduction in MSF rate has made liquidity available, spreads can be reduced for some loan segments. Earlier, the cost of deposits was high for banks. But, with additional liquidity being made available, the cost will get aligned, to some extent,” Mundra added.
Other experts said they expected a rally in short-term rates and the government securities curve could steepen and the inversion correct. “The move will ease short-term rates by around 50 bps. The introduction of term instruments will help develop the yield curve in the bucket one- to 91-day tenure,” said N S Venkatesh, chief general manager and head of treasury, IDBI Bank.
In mid-July, RBI had raised the MSF rate to 10.25 per cent from 8.25 per cent, to arrest the rupee’s volatility against the dollar.
According to Sangeet Shukla, advisor (risk), Indian Bank’s Association (IBA), the introduction of repos will bring predictability. Another benefit is that some stability would come, as banks can build pricing models that also capture risks.
Public-sector bank executives said the banking industry had sought term repos in 28- and 60-day brackets, too.
The Street believes there are more MSF rate cuts in store. “Earlier the spread between the MSF rate and the repo rate was 100 basis points. That spread may be restored,” said J Moses Harding, Group CEO, Srei Infrastructure Finance.
The weighted average call money rate stood at 9.55 per cent on Monday, compared with 6.86 on Saturday, while the weighted average collateralised borrowing and lending obligation (CBLO) stood at 9.50 per cent, compared with 7.52 on Saturday.
With further easing of rates in the domestic market, the attractiveness of funds raised using the swap facility — for foreign currency non-resident account (banks) and Tier-I capital-linked borrowings — would decline, said a senior State Bank of India official.
Courtesy: Business Standard