HSBC says Rajan to up repo rate by 0.25%

HSBC says Rajan to up repo rate by 0.25% Mumbai: Foreign brokerage HSBC on Friday said it expects Governor Raghuram Rajan to deliver on his promise to anchor inflationary expectations by hiking repo rate by 0.25 percent and cut the marginal standing facility rate by an equal measure next Tuesday as rupee has stabilised.

"Despite the weak growth backdrop, we expect the RBI will further raise the policy rate by 0.25 percent to deliver on its hawkish promise and, through this, help anchor inflation expectations," HSBC economist Leif Eskesen said.

Rajan, who had delivered an unexpected 0.25 percent hike in the repo rate at which RBI lends to the system and cut the MSF rate by 0.75 percent at his maiden policy review on September 20, is scheduled to announce the second quarter review of the monetary policy on Tuesday.

Headline inflation climbed up to a seven month high of 6.46 percent in September but the industrial activity remains subdued, while GDP grew at a four-year low of 4.4 percent on Q1.

The MSF rate, that was hiked as part of RBI firefighting to prop the bleeding rupee by reducing speculation on the rupee, will be reduced by 0.25 percent in the review, HSBC said.

"With the currency having stabilised, RBI is also expected to continue rollback of the currency stabilisation measures," the note said.

Rajan had said he intended to narrow the gap between the MSF, at which banks have to borrow if they exceed their limits from the overnight borrowing window, and the repo rate to the normal 1 percentage point from the current 1.5 percent.

There is not single analyst or agency which is expecting a rate cut but everybody is united in their view of a 25 bps (0.25 percent) hike.