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The Reserve Bank of India on Friday said it will conduct thefirst-ever purchase auction of state government bonds.afp
The Reserve Bank of India on Friday said it will conduct thefirst-ever purchase auction of state government bonds.afp

Bonds shrug off govt plan

On 9 October, Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das doubled the size of open-market bond purchases and asked traders to consider their “shared responsibility” to maintain a stable market.

The government’s additional 1.1 trillion borrowing didn’t rock domestic bond markets on Friday, with yields on the benchmark 10-year bond rising just three basis points, primarily because of the recent spate of central bank measures that have kept yields below 6%.

On 9 October, Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das doubled the size of open-market bond purchases and asked traders to consider their “shared responsibility" to maintain a stable market.

Late on Thursday, the central government said it will borrow 1.1 trillion to on-lend to states struggling to fill a tax gap.

This is in addition to the 4.34 trillion it plans to borrow before March-end, bringing total government borrowing in the October-March period to 5.44 trillion.

The government will sell five-year bonds to raise 50,000 crore and issue new three-year bonds for the rest.

“The additional borrowing could put more pressure on the five-year segment due to additional supply. The market is expecting the RBI support in the form of open market operations (OMOs)," said Naveen Singh, senior vice-president, ICICI Securities Primary Dealership.

The RBI on Friday said it will conduct the first-ever purchase auction of state government bonds.

“It has been decided to conduct a purchase auction of SDLs (state development loans) under OMOs for an aggregate amount of 10,000 crore on 22 October, keeping in view that this is the first-ever OMO purchase of SDLs. Depending on market response, the size of the auctions may be enhanced in the subsequent auctions," a central bank statement said.

The RBI will buy SDLs issued by 15 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kerala.

The tenure of the papers ranges from 9 to 10 years.

The central bank added that it reserves the right to decide on the quantum of purchase of individual securities, accept bids for less than the aggregate amount, purchase marginally higher/lower than the aggregate amount, accept or reject bids.

The RBI’s latest monetary policy had revealed its plan to conduct an OMO of these SDLs to ensure liquidity and support state government borrowing programmes.

State governments are expected to borrow as much as 2 trillion in the third quarter, 33% higher than the actual amount of 1.5 trillion last year. This could result in increased SDL sales in the fourth quarter, as they scramble for funds amid a sharp contraction in their own tax collections and the shortfall in GST compensation cess at 2.35 trillion.

State governments have borrowed nearly 3.76 trillion through SDLs between April and the first week of October, 53.6% higher than during the same period in the previous year, said ICRA Ratings.

RBI chief Shaktikanta Dashas asked traders to maintain a stable market.bloomberg
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RBI chief Shaktikanta Dashas asked traders to maintain a stable market.bloomberg
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