No urgency to include G-Secs into global indices: Mayaram
Mumbai: As forex reserves continue to rise to comfortable levels addressing the current account deficit worries and the rupee pains ebbing, Economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram on Thursday said there is no urgency to include government debt in the global bond indices.
As the rupee came under pressure and forex reserves started depleting on taper worries, confounding the already high CAD worries, the government had asked the Reserve Bank to begin talks to include its debt into benchmark indices compiled by global banks like JP Morgan, hoping to net billions of dollars.
According to initial rough estimates, such an inclusion could easily fetch around USD 30 billion, helping alleviate the CAD concerns, which had hit an all-time high of 4.8 percent of the GDP last fiscal. However, it has considerably improved and the government and RBI are pegging it below 3 percent of GDP or under USD 56 billion for the full fiscal.
"It would be interesting to be on the global indices, but it is not a matter which is emergent or so urgent that it would require an immediate decision," Mayaram told reporters on the sidelines of a Crisil summit on corporate bonds.
"Deliberations are going on. The Reserve Bank is fully engaged with this exercise and we should wait for the outcome of the deliberations. The entire matter is under consideration. It is very difficult to say anything more than that at the moment," he said.
Earlier addressing the seminar, Mayaram said the government is looking at making rupee settlements eligible in Euroclear debt platforms.
"We can actually look at Euroclear and similar participation to make the bonds more internationally competitive," Mayaram said.
Forex reserves have been rising on the back of robust inflows through the two special swap windows that the RBI opened for banks to borrow 100 percent of their core capital at a concessional 3.5 percent rebate rate and attract NRI funds through another window.
Till November 25, these two windows had netted in USD 25 billion, some USD 5 billion above estimates. These windows will be shut on November 30.
These inflows and FII inflows together saw the forex kitty swelling by USD 1.46 billion to USD 283.6 billion for the week ending November 15, according to RBI data on account higher foreign curreny assets.