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India Push to Settle Global Trade in Rupees ‘Not Without Risks’

Last July, the RBI introduced a new mechanism to settle international trade in rupees, aiming to promote exports and facilitate imports

A cashier checks Indian rupee notes
A cashier checks Indian rupee notes. Photo: Reuters


India’s push towards internationalisation of the rupee will come with its own set of challenges and the likelihood of greater volatility, a deputy governor at the country’s central bank said.

The country needs to gear up to manage the inevitable volatility that will emerge in the foreign exchange market, the official said. His comments come at a time when India is increasingly pushing to promote trade denominated in rupees.

“It is now widely accepted that while internationalisation and a freer capital account comes with its own set of benefits, it is not without risks,” M Rajeshwar Rao, Deputy Governor at Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said.


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“Freer capital flows come with their own set of challenges, the primary one being that of volatility and we need to gear up to manage that.”

Rao did not expand on how to manage the volatility in his comments, which were part of his keynote address at a conference organised by the Foreign Exchange Dealers’ Association of India (FEDAI) on Sunday. The RBI published a copy of the speech on its website on Thursday.

Rao said there was a “good amount of interest” in the rupee trading arrangements the RBI was putting in place. And if the central bank’s efforts towards rupee-invoicing bear fruit, local exporters and importers will not need to hedge, he added.


‘New frontiers’

An international currency is one that is freely available to non-residents, essentially to settle cross-border transactions. In the case of the rupee, this will be achieved by promoting the currency for import and export, without any limits.

Last July, the RBI introduced a new mechanism to settle international trade in rupees, aiming to promote exports and facilitate imports.

India’s moves, however, will make the rupee more reactive to global events and that would increase outflows, increasing volatility.

While Rao cautioned that increasingly interconnected markets will bring greater challenges, there were also opportunities.

New frontiers will also emerge as Indian banks expand their presence in offshore markets, non-residents participate more in domestic markets, and technological changes continue to transform the way markets function, he said.

In such an environment, Rao said, the RBI remains committed to continuously move ahead steadily and in line with the changing macro-financial environment globally and domestically.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena


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Vishakha Saxena

Vishakha Saxena is the Multimedia and Social Media Editor at Asia Financial. She has worked as a digital journalist since 2013, and is an experienced writer and multimedia producer. As a trader and investor, she is keenly interested in new economy, emerging markets and the intersections of finance and society. You can write to her at [email protected]


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