• FxWirePro: sell INR targeting 96 per Euro

    Source: FxWire Pro - Commentary / 16 Feb 2018 02:30:53   Eastern Standard Time

    Things are not looking too bright for the Indian economy, which was growing at the fastest pace in the entire world just a few years back. In the second quarter of 2016, the annualized pace of growth reached 9.2 percent but waned since and reached as low as 5.7 percent in the second quarter of 2017. It has somewhat bounced back to reach 6.3 percent in the third quarter but that pace is far slower than the peak.

    In addition to that, several drastic measures taken up by the Narendra Modi government since 2015 such as demonetization of the economy which relied on cash for 86 percent of the transactions have cost the middle class and small businesses dearly. Moreover, rapid implementation without sufficient planning of tax reforms known as GST (Goods and Services Tax) have taken an additional toll on small businesses, which contributes to as much as 40 percent to the country’s exports. At one point, under GST, small companies needed to file tax returns every month. While it may sound nice in terms of countering tax frauds, it meant additional cost for smaller businesses. Due to lack of sufficient planning, the government had to change GST rules many a time since its implementation last year.

    Earlier this week, a major banking scandal unraveled at the nation’s second largest state-owned lender, where Letters of Undertakings (LoU) were issued to several businessmen without proper procedures. At the center of the scam is billionaire diamond jeweler Nirav Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and maternal uncle Mehul Chinubhai Choksi. The amount in question has already reached an eye-popping $1.77 billion and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Several companies and businessmen have taken up huge loans during the era of ultra-easy money after 2008/09 from state-owned banks and have either defaulted or fled the country. Banks on the other, hand faced with huge non-performing assets have charged retail customers higher interest rates squeezing the so-called middle-class citizens.

    In order to make the fiscal deficit look more palatable for foreign investors, the government increased taxes on petroleum products and the people of India couldn’t enjoy lower oil prices of the 2014-16 period. With oil prices rising since 2016, India is once again faced with higher energy bill and a squeezed middle class.

    The above narration is only a brief of the really troubled story and it makes us at FxWirePro not so optimistic on India and especially INR.

    While INR is likely to find support from the weakness of the dollar, we suspect that it is likely to depreciate sharply against Euro. Our calculations suggest INR weakness and it could push the currency to as low as 96 per euro.