No relief on EMIs

The steps taken by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to curb rupee volatility is a clear pointer that EMIs on your home, vehicle and consumer loans are unlikely to come down when the central bank reviews monetary policy on July 30.

Some banks, which were considering cuts in lending rates, have turned cautious.

"The measures indicate that the RBI's monetary policy stance is not accommodative anymore," said Samiran Chakraborty, regional head of research, Standard Chartered Bank.

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However, there doesn't seem to be any immediate likelihood of banks raising rates and, therefore, increasing your EMI payouts.

"At present we are not contemplating any increase in interest rates," said Pratip Chaudhuri, chairman, State Bank of India, India's largest lender "We think these are temporary measures taken by RBI to shore up the rupee."

Punjab National Bank said it would not change its lending rates. "PNB considers the measures taken by RBI a step to curtail volatility and speculation in forex rates, and does not see (it) as indicative of any systemic issue," it said.

But the measures taken by RBI on Monday will increase the cost of borrowing for banks, albeit by a small margin, forcing some bankers to take a hard look at rates.

"When the cost of borrowing goes up, then at some point, banks will be forced to pass it on to customers," said Ajay Marwaha, head-trading, treasury at HDFC Bank. "Another point which adds to the uncertainty is lack of clarity on how long these measures will remain in effect."

"We will have a rethink (on base rate cut). Let's see how the market reacts in the next three-four days," said SL Bansal, CMD, Oriental Bank of Commerce.

Bankers believe that the steps taken by RBI may remain in force for up to six months. "We believe that these measures may remain in place for anywhere between one and six months," said Chakraborty.

"The probability of a rate hike, if Monday's measures are not successful in stemming the depreciation of the rupee, has gone up," said Sonal Verma, economist, Nomura India.

 

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