India central bank to meet banks next week, liquidity to be discussed – sources

By Dharamraj Dhutia

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The Reserve Bank of India is likely to meet senior officials from some banks on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 to discuss the prevailing liquidity conditions in the banking system, seven treasury officials told Reuters on Thursday.

“The central bank will meet officials at the executive director and chief general manager levels, and a discussion on the liquidity picture is on the agenda, though a formal invite has not yet come,” a treasury official from a state-run bank said.

The officials declined to be named because they were not authorised to speak to media.

The proposed meeting with state-run, foreign and private banks comes less than a month after RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, in his policy statement, urged banks to not park them at the standing deposit facility (SDF) but lend in the inter-bank market.

“It is imperative that banks assess their actual liquidity requirements over the reserve maintenance cycle and bid accordingly in the auctions under main 14-day VRRR (variable rate reverse repo) operations,” Das said.

“It is desirable that banks having surplus funds explore lending opportunities in the inter-bank call market rather than passively parking funds in the SDF at relatively less attractive rates,” he added.

Greater volume of call money transactions would not only help in deepening the inter-bank money market but also lower the recourse of deficit banks to the marginal standing facility, he added.

Market participants are also eagerly awaiting hints on when the central bank would conduct an open market sale of debt as announced in the October monetary policy meeting.

The central bank will commence bond sale, once government spending picks up and the durable liquidity surplus improves, two sources aware of the development had told Reuters last week.

Banking system liquidity is in a deficit of more than one trillion rupees as of Oct. 25 ($12.02 billion).

($1 = 83.2225 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Dharamraj Dhutia; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)