Currency slide puts India, other emerging mkts in soft spot
Sep 17 2013 , London
According to a new report published by Switzerland-based BIS, which is also referred as "bank for central banks", the US Federal Reserve's announcement of a possible phasing out of easy money regime has resulted in "abrupt and sizeable" equity market losses in both advanced and emerging markets.
Besides, it has also caused steep falls in domestic currencies of many emerging countries including India.
"The market-led tightening of financial conditions generated serious tremors in emerging market economies, which had been in a soft spot," the BIS said in its latest Quarterly Review Report.
Observing that the outlook for these economies was deteriorating, the BIS said the "imported tightening thus amplified pressures on local markets and brought to the fore the vulnerability of countries dependent on fickle foreign capital".
"In the face of additional strong headwinds from escalating geopolitical tensions, the downward pressure on currency and equity values persisted in a number of emerging economies even after the sell-off had abated in advanced economies," it added.
Noting that losses in emerging markets were much larger, BIS said the yield on the composite emerging market high-yield index jumped 130 basis points while the equity indices of the BRIC economies lost 3–13 per cent of their local currency values between May 3 and July 5.
"Over the same period, the currencies of Brazil, India and Russia depreciated by roughly 10 per cent with respect to the US dollar," the report said.
Indian rupee touched an all-time low of 68.85 against the American dollar on August 28.
According to BIS, investors zeroed in on countries with large current account deficits that are especially vulnerable to sudden capital outflows.
"Indeed, countries with high deficits, such as Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey, experienced the sharpest currency depreciations.
"... As the negative outlook for India was reinforced by reports of rising bad loans at local banks, the rupee fell to an all-time low vis-à-vis the US dollar in late August," the report said.
Similarly, Brazil and Indonesia witnessed significant pressures in their financial markets.