Shaktikanta Das at an event in Yokohama, Japan. (Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg)

Shaktikanta Das Has The Skill Set To Bridge RBI-Government Divide, Brokerages Say

Brokerages expect the appointment of Shaktikanta Das as the Reserve Bank of India governor to address a few market concerns emerging from the sudden resignation of Urjit Patel after a standoff with the government over the central bank’s independence.

The new RBI governor’s experience of working in close quarters with the government and his expertise in policymaking may help to ease the strained relationship between them, UBS said in a research report.

Goldman Sachs and HSBC, too, shared similar views. “One of Das’ first challenges will be to address the perception that the central bank and the government disagree over several issues such as addressing the liquidity crisis of non-banking lenders, prompt corrective action framework and surplus capital in the RBI’s balance sheet,” HSBC said in a report.

The brokerages, however, said a change at the helm of the RBI will not have a bearing on its monetary policy framework.

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Here’s what they say about the appointment:

UBS

  • Das may be better able to handle the working relationship between the RBI and the government.
  • Expects policy continuity as it is decided by the Monetary Policy Committee.
  • The new governor’s views on surplus reserves and the role of the RBI board and his working relationship with existing deputy governors plays out merits tracking.

Goldman Sachs

  • Very encouraging to see a quick appointment of the RBI governor, especially before the upcoming board meeting on Dec. 14.
  • Expects the RBI to benefit from Das’ wide experience in policymaking.
  • It would be important to see Das’ views on several issues where the central bank differed from the government.
  • Don’t expect any changes in the monetary policy framework since a mandate of inflation targeting for the MPC was established under the law.

HSBC

  • Das will need to see each of the joint-declarations (made at the Nov. 19 meet) through to a logical end and the RBI board meeting could be rescheduled.
  • The RBI could change its stance from “calibrated tightening” to “neutral” in the February meeting while keeping rates on hold.

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