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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Star economist takes helm of India's central bank amid storm

Star economist takes helm of India's central bank amid storm

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The Alchemist


Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
04 Sep, 2013 17:12:17

MUMBAI, September 4, 2013 (AFP) - Top economist Raghuram Rajan, renowned for predicting the 2008 global financial crisis, took over as India's central bank chief on Wednesday as the country faces its worst financial storm in years.

Rajan, a former IMF chief economist, replaced Duvvuri Subbarao as governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which has been battling to prop up the plummeting rupee and reverse a sharp economic slowdown.
Rajan arrived at the RBI headquarters in Mumbai and met his new colleagues before a handover by Subbarao. He will take charge operationally on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters after the handover, Subbarao acknowledged his successor was in for a bumpy ride.

"The country could not have asked for a more capable person to lead the RBI in these most difficult times," he said.

Rajan is due to issue a statement at 5.30pm (1200 GMT).

Rajan, an outspoken diplomat's son described by the local media as an "economist with rock star appeal", takes charge as some analysts fear the once-booming economy could be heading for a meltdown.

The 50-year-old inherits an economy struggling with a record current account deficit, a currency which has lost up to a quarter of its value against the dollar this year and annual growth at its weakest in a decade.

Investors will be looking to Rajan, one of the few economists who warned that sub-prime lending could lead to calamity ahead of the 2008 crisis, to introduce policies to calm jittery markets and stabilise the rupee.

"It would be unfair to expect magic from one person," said Siddhartha Sanyal, chief India economist with Barclays Capital.

"But he is well-equipped to deliver the best one can, given his credentials."

Abheek Barua, chief economist with HDFC Bank, called Rajan "more innovative" than Subbarao, who spent five years at the helm of the RBI.

"I feel he will be more aggressive. His first task will be to stabilise the rupee and later help curb some of the liquidity-tightening measures to help drive growth."

The RBI has introduced a series of recent measures to try to halt the slide of the rupee, Asia's worst-performing currency this year, including raising short-term interest rates and tightening cash in the system.

Last month the RBI said Indian firms could only invest 100 percent of their net worth abroad in a bid to curb volatility, but on Wednesday it relaxed the measure which had spooked the market.

The bank clarified that firms could invest up to 400 percent of their net worth abroad if the funds are raised through overseas loans.

"It was not the intention of the RBI to restrict bona-fide and genuine overseas direct investment transactions by Indian companies," a statement said.

The rupee rose nearly 2.5 percent Wednesday to 66.92 after suspected heavy central bank intervention at 68.6 levels, dealers said.

The currency has been forecast by Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered to slide to 70 to the dollar in coming months.

A depreciating rupee makes imports of everything from oil to coal and chemicals costlier, and comes as foreign capital inflows into India are drying up and the government is trying to plug the gaping current account deficit.

Analysts have raised fears India could face a crunch of the sort it suffered in 1991, when a foreign exchange-strapped government had to pawn its gold for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.

Rajan left his post as a professor at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and returned to India last year to become an adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Rajan has cautioned against any quick fix, saying last month that there was "no magic wand to make the problems disappear instantaneously".

India's economy grew by 4.4 percent in the first three months of the fiscal year, the slowest quarterly expansion since 2009.

The five percent growth rate last year was the lowest in a decade.
Adding to the gloom, a report from the World Economic Forum on Wednesday said India has slipped to 60th position out of 148 nations in terms of its global competitiveness, its lowest ever rank.

The government is desperate to kickstart growth before elections due by May. The RBI has come under growing pressure to cut interest rates but it also needs to counter high inflation.

Source - LBO

D.G.Dayaratne


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
This is the difference between Srl Lanka and India

Indian leaders always appoint most suitable person to manage important
institutions

We give priority for Election Fund and personal RELANTIONSHIP

balapas


Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
@D.G.Dayaratne wrote:This is the difference between Srl Lanka and India

Indian leaders always appoint most suitable person to manage important
institutions

We give priority for Election Fund and personal RELANTIONSHIP
Also a former accountant who was famous for dodgy accounting? and later carried out a pyramid scheme?


The Alchemist


Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Indian rupee, stocks jump on new bank chief's plans

05 Sep, 2013 14:59:16

MUMBAI, September 5, 2013 (AFP) - India's rupee strengthened and stocks jumped Thursday after new central bank governor Raghuram Rajan outlined a reform plan aimed at boosting investor confidence and stabilising the ailing currency.

The rupee climbed to 65.75 against the dollar, gaining nearly two percent from its previous close, on investor hopes the worst could be over for the currency, the worst performing in Asia this year.
Indian shares jumped as much as 2.96 percent at the open, led by banking stocks, after Rajan took over Wednesday from Duvvuri Subbarao as head of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

In the afternoon stocks were up 1.51 percent.

Rajan sought to reassure rattled markets with his first speech in the post, outlining a fresh approach to the currency crisis and warning that he may have to take unpopular steps to get Asia's third largest economy back on track.

Sonal Varma, an economist at Nomura Securities, said Rajan had made "an impressive start" but she stressed that a weak growth outlook was still a "major concern".

"In our view, amid the current gloom, the new RBI governor has infused a sense of optimism that he is in charge and that the RBI under him will unleash more financial sector reforms, a medium-term positive for the economy," she said.

Rajan, a former IMF chief economist, emphasised the importance of transparency and consistency in the bank's actions, after the RBI spent weeks trying to stabilise the rupee with a range of measures.

He stressed he would hew to the RBI's mandate of "securing monetary stability" and sustaining confidence in the value of the country's money.

"This means low and stable expectations of inflation, whether that inflation stems from domestic sources or from changes in the value of the currency, from supply constraints or demand pressures," he said.

India faces its worst financial crisis in decades, as the once-booming economy grapples with sharply slowing growth, high inflation and a record current account deficit.

Some analysts fear the economy could be heading for a meltdown with the rupee down around 22 percent against the dollar this year.

Rajan's bold entry to the job, which included financial deregulatory measures such as opening up the country's banking sector, received rave reviews from economists and the local media.

"This was easily the most substantive speech by a Reserve Bank governor on his first day in office," financial daily Business Standard said on Thursday.

With a mock photograph of Rajan in a James Bond-style pose on its front page, The Economic Times newspaper said he had "gotten off to a good start, radiating brisk purpose and optimism".
Rajan, famed for forecasting the 2008 global financial crisis, left his post as a professor at the prestigious University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and returned to India last year before taking up the new job.

Source - LBO

D.G.Dayaratne


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
[quote="The Alchemist"]Indian rupee, stocks jump on new bank chief's plans

05 Sep, 2013 14:59:16

"MUMBAI, September 5, 2013 (AFP) - India's rupee strengthened and stocks jumped Thursday after new central bank governor Raghuram Rajan outlined a reform plan aimed at boosting investor confidence and stabilising the ailing currency."


This can happen  in this country also if  Sri Lanka govt follow Indian govt



f



Last edited by D.G.Dayaratne on Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:40 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : typing error)

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