By Aveek Pal Chaudhuri
Extending the market trading timings to the pre-pandemic hours from 9 am to 5 am with effect from December 12, the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday according to the timings for call/notice/term money market operations have been extended with new timings from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. For commercial paper and certificates and certificates of deposit, corporate bond repo and rupee interest rate derivatives have been increased from previous timings of 9:00 am to 3:30 pm to 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Timing hours for tri-party repo in government securities, government securities (central government securities, state development loans and treasury bills) and foreign currency (FCY)/ Indian Rupee trades have remained unchanged from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.
The RBI said in a statement, “The trading hours for various markets regulated by the Reserve Bank were amended with effect from April 7, 2020, in view of the operational dislocations and elevated levels of health risks posed by COVID-19. Restoration of market hours in a phased manner was commenced with effect from November 09, 2020, with the easing of pandemic-related constraints, and the opening time for regulated market hours was restored to the pre-pandemic timing of 9:00 AM with effect from April 18, 2022.” The statement added, “It has now been decided to restore market hours in respect of call/notice/term money, commercial paper, certificates of deposit and repo in corporate bond segments of the money market as well as for rupee interest rate derivatives. Accordingly, with effect from December 12, 2022, the revised trading hours for the markets regulated by the Reserve Bank.”
RBI on Wednesday, in its bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, hiked the key repo rate by 35 basis points to 6.25 percent. According to the latest rate hike, which was in line with the market thoughts, the apex bank has raised the repo rate by two percentage points in half a year. The apex bank has kept the inflation target for the current financial year 2022-23 (FY23) unchanged at 6.7 percent, while cautioning that the battle against inflation is not over yet. The RBI MPC has revised the inflation projection for Q3 to 6.6 percent and Q4 to 5.9 percent, from 6.4 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, estimated during the September policy.
The RBI has revised the current financial year GDP growth forecast, in line with estimates suggested by global international agencies and financial institutions. Projecting the country's full fiscal year economic growth below 7 percent, the RBI said the real GDP growth for 2022-23 is estimated at 6.8 percent, with Q3 at 4.4 percent and Q4 at 4.2 percent.