RBI may keep key rates unchanged in monetary policy: Macquarie

RBI may keep key rates unchanged in monetary policy: Macquarie

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India is likely to keep its benchmark lending and borrowing rates unchanged in its monetary policy review next week, but may start hiking them from April 2010, according to Macquarie Research.

“We maintain that the RBI would keep rates unchanged next week, and probably begin hiking them from April 2010," Macquarie research analyst Rajeev Malik said in a report.

“The RBI can also keep the cash reserve ratio (the amount of funds that banks have to park with RBI) unchanged on 27 October but may hike it before the next review in January 2010," Malik said.

At present, the cash reserve ratio (CRR) stands at 5%, while the repo rate (the rate at which banks borrow from RBI) is at 4.75% and reverse repo (the rate at which RBI borrows money from banks) stands at 3.25%.

He said premature tightening would attract more capital inflows, which could complicate monetary and rupee management.

India’s apex bank will announce its mid-yearly credit policy on 27 October.

The research firm said credit offtake in the country remained less than desired while the trend in loan-deposit ratio was uninspiring.

Macquarie expected India’s wholesale price index (WPI) inflation to shoot up to 7 to 7.5% by end-March 2010, higher than RBI’s estimate of 5%.