The Singapore dollar has held a pretty steady rate averaging Rs.32.25 / SGD in the past few months. We try to explore why borrowing in SGD and converting to INR is a good idea at this point in time.
The Historical Rate perspective
It first crossed the Rs.32 barrier mid July ‘08 and quickly retraced back around 10% to Rs.29.5 by mid August ’08. The SGD was quoting 1.35 and INR at 42.66 against the dollar, giving a cross rate of Rs.31.60 against the Singapore dollar as on 18th July 2008.
Then the financial crisis gathered steam and till date USD gained 11.37% against the SGD and 13.65% against the INR.
From the historical lows the USD has gained 22.65% against the Indian Rupee and just 11.37% against the SGD (sees charts below)
The Economic Perspective
The Singapore economy has slipped into technical recession and the growth rates are projected to be within the 2% mark for 2009. India on the other hand projects a growth rate of 6-7% for the current year. In a nutshell the Indian economy is still growing which should result in a greater demand for Indian currency as compared to the Singapore dollar.
The Interest Rate Perspective
The average bank savings rate in Singapore hovers around the 1% mark as compared to 4% in India.
The long term fixed deposit rates for upto a year fetch appx. 2.5% in Singapore and 8.5% in India.
A one year return analysis will show that SGD against INR should move to 34.40 in a year’s time to maintain exchange rate equilibrium:
Given the growth rate differential of around 4% between the two economies and the weakening of INR against the USD by twice as much as SGD, there is every probability that either the SGD will weaken further against the dollar or INR will appreciate against the USD to achieve equilibrium, by around 10% – giving a target rate of around Rs.30 against the Singapore dollar.
So if you convert your SGD to INR now you stand to gain:
1. 14.67 % if the SGD/INR comes down to Rs.30 and you invested your converted proceeds in 8.5% Fixed deposit for a year in India
2. 5.85 % if the exchange rate stays at 32.5 and you invested your converted proceeds in 8.5% Fixed deposit for a year in India
3. 0% if SGD/INR moves to 34.40 (the probability of this is really low