External debt grows $6.9 bn

Mumbai, Sept 29 | Updated: Sep 30 2006, 05:30am hrs
The country's external debt during the quarter April-June 2006 increased by $6.9 billion to end at $132.1 billion as against $125.2 billion for the quarter ended March 2006, said Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in release on Friday. Almost all the components of external debt except rupee debt have risen during the quarter.

Among the components of external debt, external commercial borrowings (ECBs) recorded the largest increase by $5.4 billion during the quarter, showing an increase of 21.2%, reflecting strong domestic investment activity.

The increase is also partly attributed to the decline in the stock of ECBs at end-March 2006. While gross disbursements under ECBs were high during 2005-06, net disbursements had remained low on account of principal repayment of India Millennium Deposits (IMDs).

In ECB, commercial bank loans and foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) account for the major increase during this quarter.

The total NRI deposits for the long tenure is estimated at $35.651 billion as on June 2006 compared to previous quarter's $35.134 billion, indicating a rise of $517 million.

The multilateral debt showed an increase by $547 million during the year to end at $33.105 billion as compared to $32.558 billion. Meanwhile, the trade credit has shown a marginal increase by $537 million to end at $14.651 billion.

The currency composition of India's external debt at end-June 2006 revealed that US dollar continue to be the major currency, accounting for 46.1% of total external debt stock.

RBI also stated that there was a prepayment of external bilateral debt amounting to $ 59.2 million during April-June 2006.