Wed, 03 Jun 2020

New Delhi [India], May 22 (ANI): Industry experts on Friday largely welcomed the Reserve Bank of India's measures to increase private consumption and provide liquidity access to all sectors hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It is encouraging to note that acting in lockstep with the government, the RBI decided to cut repo rate by 40 basis points in order to provide the necessary impetus to growth which is expected to turn negative this fiscal," said CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee.

"The RBI should be congratulated on the move to extend the loan moratorium by another three months," he said.

ASSOCHAM President Niranjan Hiranandani said reducing the repo rate by 40 basis points to 4 per cent will help the banks provide additional liquidity access to all the sectors.

"The industry welcomes extension of term loan moratorium till August 31. The lending institutions are being permitted to restore the margins for working capital to the origin level by March 31, 2021. This is a step in the right direction," he said.

Kumaresh Ramakrishnan, Chief Investment Officer at PGM India Mutual fund, said surplus liquidity, a dovish stance and weak growth conditions should pave the way for further rate easing in the months ahead, causing yields to rally.

Naveen Kulkarni, Chief Investment Officer of Axis Securities, said the rate cut will have limited impact in the short term but will be helpful to revive growth over the longer term.

"However, the decision to extend the moratorium period by another three months is a significant negative for the private banks both in the medium and long term. The impact on the banking sector will be negative," he said.

Mihir Vora, Director and Chief Investment Officer of Max Life Insurance, said the RBI's announcements will further ease the liquidity conditions and reduce funding costs for borrowers and lenders.

However, the credit risk-aversion in financial markets are likely to continue, the high-rated borrowers will continue to get easy funding and the lower-rated borrowers will continue to struggle to raise funds.

Nish Bhatt, Founder and CEO of investment consulting firm Millwood Kane International, welcomed the rolling over special facility with SIDBI for another 90 days.

"Besides, the central bank's move to give foreign investors another three months for deployment of funds will help foreign investments," he said.

Rajat Rajgarhia, Managing Director and CEO for Institutional Equities at Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said India will need more measures on a continuous basis on both fiscal and monetary front to revive the economy from the current phase of negative growth.

Ram Raheja, Director at S Raheja Realty, said the RBI should ensure that benefits of rate cut are passed down to end-consumers by the banks. "This step will incentivise the banks to lend more, which in turn will give a boost to the currently flattened demand and infuse liquidity in the ecosystem."Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director of Knight Frank India, said the expected contraction of the GDP is worrisome emanating from a significant drop in private consumption.

"While the RBI has taken steps to boost liquidity, one of the real challenges remains boosting of demand which we hope that subsequent announcements will address," he said.

Joseph Thomas, Head of Research at Emkay Wealth Management, said the rate cut has been effected considering the fact that there is growing economic and financial stress on account of the pandemic involving all major sectors of economic activity.

"The potential reduction in the cost of funds and the extension of moratorium will be supportive of financial stability which is of extreme importance as of today," he said.

"But the fall in the reverse repo rate will serve as a disincentive to banks who hold huge sums of liquidity to look at alternatives including gilts," said Thomas. (ANI)

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