India Budget 2009 Review. Market Expectations Despaired.

 

 

GDP Growth

IIP Data

Budget for an Inclusive Growth

Much awaited Budget mainly for reforms, hike in FDI limit financial industry, deliverance of an inclusive growth in the ecocomy were finally delivered by the Finance Minister of India, Pranab Mukherjee. Some of us were very happy with the proposals made in the House while other got disappointment on various front. For sure, India’s economic growth has been impacted by the global economic problems and the recovery in the western economy specially in the US would play a critical role in a growth of the Indian economy. The rising fiscal deficit, expenditures are not only a single major concern for the economy but the significant rise in government borrowings also does matter for the future growth, which would affect the borrowing cost (refer to the given below figure).

India's Fiscal Deficit for FY 2008-09 of Annual GDP at Current Market Price.

India's Fiscal Deficit for FY 2008-09 of Annual GDP at Current Market Price.

 

There is no doubt that the debt level of the Indian Government likely to puff up due to higher spending. First look at the brief synopsis of Budget 2009.

  • Mr Finance Minister has agreed upon the real challenges to get back to sustainable 9% GDP growth.
  • Finance Minister stressed upon infrastructure development by providing long term financial assitance to infrastruture projects via India Infrastruture Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL).
  • Increases allocations for National Highway and Railways projects.
  • Extension of repayment period from Jun 2009 to Dec 2009 under the Debt relief Program 2008 to the farmers having acquired land more than two hectares.
  • Gov’t of India commitment on restoring growth in export sector.
  • To Initiate Institutional Reform measures from this year to fix the rising Fiscal Deficit.
  • To allocate Rs 39,400 crores ($8.16 Billion) to National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).
  • Total expenditure of Rs. 1,020,838 Crores ($209.62 Billion) according to the Budget Estimates 2009-10.
  • Abolishment of Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) and removal of Surcharge on Income Tax.
  • Changes in Direct Tax Code.
  • Implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST) from 1st Apr 2010.
  • Revision in Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) from 10% to 15%.

Since the inflation is no longer a concern for the economic growth, India needs to opt for a better policies and reforms to achieve the macroeconomic stability. Interest rates become more stable backed by the comfortable liquidity situation in the system which would be prudent for the constant growth of the economy and to be self reliant driven by the domestic demand. Forasmuch, India seeing the higher non plan spendings due to Subsidy burden, Sixth Central Pay Commission, and food subsidy which would be a troublesome for the government to restructure its finances. Savings rate at 59% of the anual GDP and massive foreign reserves assets will put the Indian ecconomy on reposeful position in the global arena (helps the Indian economy to abstain from the risk of revision in credit rating).

Finance Minister Mukherjee has commended the budget without giving further stress on the spending and even didn’t touch the revenue side largely in the wake of the macroeconomic health. Foreign Inflows will continue to drive the Indian economy higher in future but the lower exports will make the Balance of Payments (BOP) uneasy for the economy. The vast current account deficit will make the Indian currency more vulnerable in the near term against the US Dollar however it would be a short term pain and not a major concern to think upon. We’re expecting some bit of reduction in fiscal deficit in FY2009-10 due to diminution in subsidy burden including Oil bonds, food subsidy and we could see the beginning of economic reforms in the fiscal year 2009-10 Budget.

We would discuss more in our next report “Indian Economy in 2009-10 Overview”

RBI Cuts Policy Rates And CRR To Enable Banks To Provide Credit At Cheaper Rates Meanwhile, Govt Announced The 2nd Stimulus Package.

RBI cut Repo rate, Reverse Repo by 100 bps to 5.5% and 4% respectively on the other side, there is reduction of 50 bps on CRR to 5%. CRR cut to release Rs. 20,000.00 Crores ($4.08 billion) on the other side, Govt has announced the second stimulus package to defend the economy from the global downturn. Click here to read the latest RBI Action on Policy Rates.

Reserve Bank of IndiaAs the global financial situation is continue to exacerbate and the official announcement of Recession by the advanced economies like the United States, Japan and the Euro Zone; the Reserve Bank of India (India’s Central Bank) is aggressively responding to the crisis to maintain the sound banking system via adequate amount of liquidity and sustainable economic growth to achieve targets. on 2nd Jan 2009, RBI has cut Repo rate and Reverse Repo rate by 1 percentage point to 5.5% and 4% respectively and Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by 50 bps to 5%. Now, its assume that the reduction in policy rates and CRR of central bank would make possible for the banks to cut their lending rates in order to provide cheaper credit.  On the same day, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia has also announced the second stimulus package to the Indian Economy to weather the global financial crises with success. The second stimulus package would allow the companies to borrow more from abroad through ECB and FIIs to invest more in the country. This package also gave attention to the Housing sector and Infrastructure sector by providing liquidity of Rs. 25,000.00 Crores ($5.21 billion) through investment grade papers. In order to encourage infrastructure projects in the country, Govt has allowed the India Infrastructure Finance Company (IIFC) to raise upto Rs. 10,000.00 Crores ($2.08 billion) through tax free bonds for refinancing the bank lending of longer maturity to eligible infrastructure bid based Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects. This will mainly enables to fund the projects like Highway and Port projects.

Apart from that, to protect the Micro, Small and Medium Entreprises (MSME) from the economic downturn, guarantee cover under Credit Guarantee Scheme have been extended from Rs. 50 Lakhs to Rs. 1 Crores with a guarantee cover of 50%.

VMW Definitions:

  • Repo Rate: is a rate at which, RBI repurchases Govt Securities from the commercial banks to expand the money supply in exchange of cash.
  • Reverse Repo Rate: Vice versa of Repo rate means to sell Gov’t bonds in exchange of cash.
  • CRR: is a Cash Reserve Ratio. Banks kept some portion of their deposits with the RBI at a prescribed reserve rate.
  • SLR: is the Statutory Liquidity Ratio at which banks need to kept short term securities such as Cash, Gov’t Securities, Precious Metals like Gold and Silver and other short term securities.
  • BPS: is Basis Points which should be define by One Hundredth of a one percentage point (1/100th of 1%). It is commonly used in expressing differences of interest rates.

If you need further clarifications on these Finance terms, send an email at contact@vishalmishra.com

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(SA) Economy In Crisis: What The Year 2009 Holds For India?

    

The Global Recession 2009.The Year 2008 was dreadful for the Global Economy. It started small in the mid of 2007 and then it went global. This Economic crisis which some Economists observing it analogous to the “Great Depression in 1930s”. This crisis has affected all of us by number of ways. hundreds of thousands of jobs has been lost so far and still counting. The deteriorating US, Japan and the Euro Zone Economy impelling the Indian economy on the downside. The other developing economies are also not immune to this global downturn. Fastest developing nation – China fears, their economic growth should fall to even below 6% from 11.4% in 2007. Global equity markets also fell heavily due to major slump in the financial sector. Indian Equity markets have lost half of its total value since Jan, 2008 peak while the other major markets fell between 35% and 72% and still there is no signs of recovery in the global financial markets as the economic situation is continue to worsen. The recent Macro economic data from the United States shows the further deepening of Recession. Falling demand for crude oil lead to steepest fall and now trading at 4 year lowest levels.   

India’s Economic Story   

Inflation Rate in 2008

General Trend: Inflation Rate in 2008

Developing economies like Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) are emerging as an economic powerhouse.  Since the year 2002, Indian Economy grew at an average rate of over 8%. The recent Financial Tsunami which led to the severe recession are also affecting the developing nations. Some of the major economic factors are now in favor of the Indian Economy. One of the vital positive changes are cooling inflation (see the picture on the left side, showing the Inflation trend), commodity prices, Crude oil prices, falling interest rates. RBI still have a lot of room to ease its policy rates further when the inflation below 1%. In the Year 2008, RBI had revised its key rates several times to maintain the liquidity in the banking system. The lower interest rates will allow the banks to cut their benchmark lending rates, though the deposits will also see the reduction in interest rates. Lower commodity prices and crude oil prices is driving the Inflation on a downside.  Lower inflation means, lower cost of credit, which drives the economy on the upside, however in first half of 2009 (H1-09), growth will slow significantly as Industrial production suffers from lower exports. (see the given below picture showing the IIP trend in FY2008).   

IIP Growth in FY2008-09

General Trend: IIP Growth in FY2008-09

The recent economic indicators – Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data showed the negative growth of the economy, the another negative point for the Indian economy is rising fiscal deficit. Fiscal deficit estimated at over 8% of the India’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) (see our latest Post: “Interim Budget 2009 Review” for more information) and 3rd Quarter Advance Tax data which is fell by 22% over the corresponding year. It shows that the profitability of the Indian corporate is lessening. The fact is, “we’re now in the middle of the Global Recession” and we’ll see some more drastic changes in the global economy. Besides these factors, other important factors are falling demand for Indian exports and depreciating Rupee which will widen the Current Account deficit is another cause of concern. India’s largest import product is Crude Oil and weaker domestic currency would make imports dearer, however the weaker currency will lead to higher demand for India’s exports, but as mentioned earlier, the global recession have a drastic impact on India too.   

What To Watch Out For   

  • Headline Inflation will continue to fall and some economies (particularly developed one) will see short period of Headline Deflation in H1 of 2009. Reason: rapidly falling inflation, asset prices, and credit crisis. 
  • Central banks in across the world will continue to ease their monetary policy in the next three to six months to impede the deeper downturn and the risk deflation outcome.
  • FY09 earnings in India and 1st quarter earnings in the US and Europe. Bank’s result would be the top priority for the global investors as their positive corporate earnings might be an advance indicator for an improvement in the credit market and whole banking system which has a lead role to damage the global economy.

In the coming three to six months, the economies are expected to continue to contract as the negative impact from the credit crisis, a further deepening of the housing slowdown, a backlash in Emerging Markets. The 1st Half of year 2009 is very crucial and by mid-2009, economies are expected to return to positive growth rates and a subsequent slow recovery will materialize during H2 next year. The US would be the first to recover followed by Asia. The positive effects from falling energy prices, monetary policy easing, and fiscal stimuli will definitely work.   

The Reason For Recovery In H2 2009    

  • First of all, the falling Crude Oil prices from almost $150 a barrel to below $50 a barrel. Higher commodity prices were the main driver for the economic downturn last year. Food and raw material prices followed suit push the inflation on the downside. The lower inflation will act as a tax relief significantly supporting consumer purchasing power during the coming months.
  • Further widespread easing of Monetary Policy. US Central Banker, Federal Reserve will implement the Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) in its Jan, 2009 meeting. European Central Bank (ECB), the central bank of Euro Zone will likely to cut aggressively. This will lead to fade in credit crisis and the economy will start to recover.

Forecast For India   

VMW expects, India to grow at 6.2% in FY09 and 6.1% in FY10. On the RBI policy front, RBI should cut interest rates further to fuel the economic growth; however the robust Foreign Exchange Reserves and the strong domestic demand will protect the Indian Economy from sharp downfall.   

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This VMW Research is Marked as “Superannuated” by the VMW Research Team and the content of this research is no longer in use in today’s economic context, however certain references and inferences in this research can be use.

RBI Cut Repo Rate And Reverse Repo Rate by 100 BPS To 6.5% and 5% Respectively.

No change in Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR). Banks are reluctant to cut rates despite the RBI’s rate cut move.

Most of the bank’s Prime Lending Rate is still hovering between 12% and 16% despite the RBI’s effort to ease the interest rates for the economic growth. In the wake of recent Mumbai attacks which hurt the investors’ sentiment, and the day after the RBI’s rate cut announcement, the Indian Government also announced the $4 billion (Rs. 20,000 Crore) fiscal stimulus package to impede the slowing economic growth. This stimulus package particularly announced for supporting the India’s Small and Medium Entreprises (SMEs) in order to protect them from falling demand of their products in international markets as the consumer cut back their spendings in a recessionary economy. Major support by the government comes to the ailing Textile Sector. Many small textile companies have already shut their operations due to cash shortages (working capital) to run daily operations.

The recent GDP data was not surprising and not even so attractive. The growth at 7.1% was already anticipated however, the GDP growth could tumble further to the lower than that levels. Although, recent move by the Govt. and the RBI will strenghten the economic efficiency, but still RBI needs to respond to further economic developments over the period of time. We’re expecting the more rate cut and even CRR cut from the RBI side and may likely to cut both Repo Rate and Reverse Repo rate in the next few months. Even we can see the CRR cut to increase liquidity in the banking system if required.

The recent rate cut announcement by RBI on 2nd Jan 2009. Click here to find out.

$9 Trillion Revenue For Gulf Countries By 2020.

Gulf countries (Middle East) will earn oil revenues of almost $9 trillion by the year 2020, if oil prices remain at $100 a barrel. According to the research by McKinsey, the total value of Gulf state foreign assets reached $1.9 trillion by the end of year 2006 more than double since the year 2003 or nearly equal to the GDP of India and Brazil or the valuation of top 10 Fortune 500 companies. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter and owner of 55% of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) oil reserves, accounts for $600 billion of the total. GCC has six member countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These are the major players on the world financial stage.

Checkout this space for more information on that.