Reuters blog archive
from Global Investing:
Ten-year Indian bond yields have fallen 30 basis points this year alone and many forecast the gains will extend further. It all depends on two things though -- the Feb 28 budget of which great things are expected, and second, the March 19 central bank meeting. The latter potentially could see the RBI, arguably the world's most hawkish central bank, finally turn dovish.
Barclays is advising clients to bid for quotas to buy Indian government and corporate bonds at this Wednesday's foreigners' quota auction (India's securities exchange, SEBI, will auction around $12.3 billion in quotas for foreign investors to buy bonds). Analysts at the bank noted that this would be the last auction before the central bank meeting at which a quarter point rate cut is expected. Moreover the Reserve Bank of India will signal more to come, Barclays says, predicting 75 bps in total starting March.
That is likely to be driven first by recent data -- inflation in January was at a three-year low while growth has slowed to a decade low. Barclays notes:
Based on our economists’ view of a 25bp repo rate cut in Q1, and a further 50bp in Q2, we expect the bond curve to fall around 55bp in a parallel move. As such, we recommend extending duration to long end bonds....Given high carry, attractive price returns and our forecast for modest nominal appreciation of the rupee, we expect an approximately10% dollar return (FX unhedged), and a 7% return (FX hedged) on 30-year bonds in the next six months.
Spiritual leaders from Russia's large minority of Muslims asked President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday to press Saudi Arabia to increase the number of worshippers allowed to perform the annual Haj pilgrimage. Almost three million Muslims flock to Mecca every year for Haj, a duty every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it must perform at least once in their lifetime. Riyadh allocates quotas for Muslims around the world.
from India Insight:
The Women's Reservation Bill has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha on the International Women's Day.
It may be the most consequential act of lawmaking since independence.
from India Insight:
As part of its 100-day action plan, the Congress-led UPA government is pushing for the Women's Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve 33 per cent seats in parliament for women.
The UPA has also promised to give women 50 percent seats in local government institutions like the village council, up from the 33 percent of seats currently reserved for them.