Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
Markets | By Terence Owen

RBI keeps key interest rates unchanged

RBI keeps key interest rates unchanged

"In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling [virtual currencies]", the bank said in a statement. "This is also the approach followed by multilateral institutions, global analysts and investors.", the RBI Deputy Governor said at a press conference.

The directive is aimed at having "unfettered access to all payment data for supervisory purposes", the central bank said. Viral V. Acharya - had voted in favor of a status quo.

"Ongoing normalisation of interest rates in the USA, higher global crude oil prices, and the looming threat of escalation in global trade war warranted a cautious approach". The central bank has also turned more upbeat on the growth outlook following the recent run of positive economic activity data. Dr Patel offered a succinct recipe to beat this eventuality, including strengthening of domestic macroeconomic fundamentals, rebuilding the balance sheets of banks and helping corporates to de-leverage their balance sheets. Companies polled by the RBI said input and output prices were rising and this could be passed on to consumers. The headline inflation after surging to a concerning 5.2 percent in December previous year, cooled off to 5.07 percent in January and further to 4.4 percent in February.

Sohail Merchant, CEO of Nasik-based bitcoin wallet and platform PocketBits said the action is "nothing new", as the Indian Crypto Exchanges do not have banking relationships after most banks already ceased crypto related transactions several months ago.

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First, with the sharp moderation in food prices in February-March, the inflation trajectory in H1:2018-19 is expected to be lower than the projection in the February statement, despite a likely reversal in food prices in H1.

The members of the MPC voted 5-1 in favour of a neutral stance, thus maintaining status quo on Repo rate. The policy repo rate is kept unchanged at 6%, which is the lowest since November 2010. Furthermore, even as global growth and trade have been strengthening, rising trade protectionism and financial market volatility could derail the ongoing recovery, Patel said.

For the second half of the year, it expects CPI inflation to be around 4.4 per cent, including the impact of higher house rent allowance for central government employees, compared with its earlier forecast of 4.5 per cent to 4.6 per cent.

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