Net capital inflows to India to rise sharply in FY'15: Nomura

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: May 27 2014, 23:13pm hrs
The net capital inflows to India are likely to increase sharply in FY'15, buoyed by the historic victory of the BJP-led NDA headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says a Nomura report.

According to the global financial services firm, this historic victory has enthused investor confidence that the government will pursue reforms and policies that will put India back on high growth trajectory over the medium term.

"We expect a USD 25 billion balance of payments surplus in FY'15," Nomura said in a research note.

According to the report, the import bill is likely to rise slightly on gradual relaxation in gold import restrictions and the non-gold import bill may also rise slightly as growth picks up in the latter half of FY'15.

The rise in import bill will be offset by strong exports on the back of higher global demand, it said.

"Overall, we expect the current account deficit (CAD) to remain within sustainable levels, under 2 per cent of GDP in FY'15," the report said.

According to RBI data released yesterday, in FY'14, CAD narrowed to 1.7 per cent of GDP, or USD 32.4 billion, from 4.7 per cent, or USD 87.8 billion, in the previous fiscal.

The decline in the deficit continues to be driven by lower gold imports and softer non-oil, non-gold demand, which helped contain the merchandise trade deficit, experts said.

British brokerage firm Barclays also believes that given the government's measures to restrict gold imports largely remain in place, we do not think the current account deficit will widen significantly in the first half of FY'15.

CAD is expected to be lower than the earlier forecast of USD 50 billion (2.4 per cent of GDP) in FY'15.

India's current account deficit narrowed sharply to USD 1.2 billion, or 0.2 per cent of GDP, in Q4 of FY'14 from USD 18.1 billion, or 3.6 per cent of GDP, a year ago. In the December quarter, it stood at USD 4.2 billion or 0.9 per cent of GDP.

The lower CAD was primarily on account of a decline in trade deficit as imports fell sharper than exports.

Meanwhile according to leading global brokerage firm Goldman Sachs, the improvement in the overall balance of payments was largely in line with expectations and the current account deficit is likely to rise gradually in the current financial year.

"We expect the current account deficit to rise gradually to 2.6 per cent of GDP in FY15, due to a gradual increase in imports driven by a recovery in domestic demand as well as some relaxation in gold imports by the new government," Goldman Sachs said in a research note.

Meanwhile, rupee is expected to see some appreciation in the near term largely owing to greater portfolio flows and a BoP surplus, but the rise in rupee value will not be significant.

"We do not expect the INR to appreciate significantly further due to the RBI's preference of building up reserves and preventing significant appreciation, the gradual worsening in the current account balance, and India's significant

inflation differential with partner countries," Goldman Sachs said.

The rupee is likely to hover around 58.5 against the US dollar in the next three months time, 61/USD in the next 6 months time and 63/USD in nex 12 months time, it added.