Tag Archives: Forex

SGD INR – What’s in store for 2012

2011, what a year it has been for the global markets and SGD INR has been a party to it. The pair started the year at 35.10 and finished at 40.74 a rise of 16%. However the pair has resumed the downtrend and is trading at 39.30 as I write – a drop of 4% from the year-end close.

Let me highlight how the past analysis has fared before delving into how the pair could move in 2012.

In the first post of the series on 23 April 2011 SGD INR – Has anything really changed the recommendation was to convert to INR and invest in deposits. The exchange rate was 35.50 on the date of writing and my recommendation was it could touch 36.5. this target was achieved on 30 May 2011.

The pair continued to move along the interest rate parity line and Tax Adjusted rate line for next 6 months before Rupee began its downslide in Sep 2011 due to weakening economy, uncontrolled inflation and financial turmoil in the global markets.

As Rupee slid from 48 to 54 against the US Dollar (USD) in the next three months its slide against the Singapore dollar was 37 to 41 – drop of 10% against either currencies.

When SGD breached 39 the prediction was for it to ride the momentum and cross 40 SGD Breaches 39 mark, Eyeing 40.

The prediction came true and Rupee went all the way to 41. In the post on 27th Nov 2011 the prediction was made for a pull back with pair ranging between 38.75 – 39.06 40 breached, What’s Next  which is on track as the pair is moving towards the 39 mark.

In the mean time a very interesting development happened as Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deregulated the NRE deposit rates to boost foreign currency supply in the market Now NRE Deposit yield 9.25%, and yes its Tax Free.

Having looked at all these factors here is my take for 2012 (stay tuned for updates every quarter, its very difficult to take a long term view in such volatile markets)

  • INR should strengthen against all currencies and SGD would be no exception.
  • On an Interest rate parity analysis SGD converted to INR and invested in an NRE account would grow to 43.25 in a years time at todays conversion rate of 39.5. The Rule I follow is to convert whenever the actual rate is above the implied rate line
  • With NRE deposits becoming tax free repatriating money in and out of India is easier
  • With Rupee strengthening the gains should be compounded for any investments made in INR

So unless you feel that SGD is headed towards a Rs45 mark in the next year investing in INR is sure to yield good return.

 

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If Singapore heads to a Technical Recession what happens to SGD INR??

Market has been rife about Singapore heading into a technical recession in 3rd Quarter of 2011. Prime Minister has revised the overall growth outlook downwards in the National Day speech and there has been a steady decline in the Electronics Export and other trading activities.

A technical recession occurs when a economy experiences negative growth for 2 consecutive quarters. To spur the economic growth I would expect the fiscal authority to ease out the rise in Singapore dollar to make exports more competetive. Lets look at what happened in  the last technical recession of 2008.

The Singapore dollar depreciated 14% against the USD and moved from 1.35 to 1.54 in a span of 6 months!!

Now what does this mean for SGD-INR that is had a spectacular run of 9% annualised appreaciation in past 4 years?

Simply speaking the SGD INR is a cross pair between SGD-USD and USD-INR therefore a weakening of SGD against USD would result in a decline in SGD – INR. The current USD-INR rate is 46.25 and SGD-USD is at 1.203. To get a better view lets see what happened to USD INR in the same period where SGD fell against the USD

USD – INR moved to 51.5  from 42 in the same time frame which is a gain of 20%.

Scenario 1

Using the two gain numbers of 14% and 20% the USD-SGD pair should move to 1.37 from 1.20 as of today and USD-INR would touch 55.5. The cross rate usinf these calculations would come out to 40.51 for SGD – INR.

I am sure all who have SGD holdings would get all excited seeing the figure, but before getting too excited lets look at other possibilities.

Scenario 2

The INR going beyond 50 mark will spell trouble for the Indian economy specially if the Oil prices remain around the $80 mark and the Reserve bank of India would intervene to stem  the rise. So a possible future rate where the SGD weakens 14% the cross rate would come out to 36.50.

Scenario 3

Another possibility is that the SGD depreciates around 7-8% and moves to the 1.30 mark then SGD INR would be at the 38.46, assuming that INR moves to 50 against the USD which is also the current rate.

Now lets throw in the Interest Rate of 10% for Term Deposits in India – for a 6 month period from the current rate of 38.4 any money invested in India would yield 40.32 in target rate (tax free) which is close to the rates in scenario 1. On a post tax basis the amount would grow to yield 39.74.

So we have the facts lined up and no matter what the scenario is, repatriating money to India makes a lot of sense.

SGD/INR – Has anything really changed??

 

Its been almost a year since I wrote anything on SGD INR or for that matter anything else. With the rate hovering around 35 there have been quite a few requests for me to express my views and here is my opinion.

How has the Past Analysis fared?

In my last post  (10th May 2010) I had recommended that converting SGD to INR at 33+ mark as it is beneficial based on Interest Rate Parity:

  1. Interest Rate on secured deposits  in India was 8% or more making conversion attractive and
  2.  The expectation was a downward movement from then rate of 32.4 against one SGD to Rs.30 giving additional gains

The first part of analysis held good but the rate moved opposite  – towards the Rs. 35 mark.

The instant question that comes to mind is Did I lose if I converted to INR instead of holding SGD’s?

The answer is NO. As per recommendation the pair moved to 33.29 within 2 weeks of recommendation on 21 May 2010. One Dollar coverted to INR @ 33.29 for 1 year and invested @ 8% would grow to 35.95 which is less than todays interbank rate of 35.85

Whats the recommendation for upcoming months?

I am going to stick with my recommendation that converting SGD to INR is beneficial in all situations and one would not loose by repartriating money to India and parking in fixed deposits.

The Interest Rates have strenghthened to 9.5% as of today and conversion has become even more attractive. To substantiate – lets say we convert 1 SGD @ 35.85  now and invest @ 9.5%, it will grow to 39.25 in one years time. Would SGD INR touch 39.25 in one year? Unlikely!!

SGD INR rate is a cross between USD-INR and USD-SGD for which the current rate is 44.25 and 1.235 respectively. For SGD INR to fetch 39.25 in a year the USD-SGD would have to move to 1.13, assuming that there is no change to USD INR.

Consensus on the street is that USD-SGD could move up to 1.19 by October 2011. Even if INR weakens to 46 against the USD the possible rate would be  38.65 after a year which is lesser than what you get by investing in a Fixed Deposit.

How do I decide when is a good time to convert?

Exchange rates do not move linearly and with the volatility its difficult to know if its a good time to convert. Also at the request of few readers I have added the dimension of taxability of interest income @ 30%. The below graph shows the movement of SGD INR for the past 2 years.

Two important observations are:

  1. SGD INR has stayed below the Tax Adjusted Implied Rate (TAIR) line except 2 occasions
  2. Its beneficial to convert to INR whenever the actual rate moves away positively from the TAIR.

On 13 Sep 2009 the TAIR was 32.94 and Actual Rate was 33.94, Actual Rate moved back to TAIR of 33.01 on 4 Oct 2009. On 30 Jan 2011 the Actual Rate was 35.81 against the TAIR of 35.49 and the two converged to 35.53 by 6 Feb 2011.

The chart below shows the prediction based on curent exchange rate of 35.85, Interest rate of 8.5% till 30 June 2011 and 9% after that till 31 Dec 2011, tax of 30% and Start of Year Rate of 34.96:

 

The expectation is that with the Singapore elections on 7 May 2011 the SGD might appreciate quickly towards 1.19 against the USD giving a possible rate of 36.5 in next 2 weeks. If this happens you know what to do!!

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Update – 30 May 2011

The Interbank Rate moved up to 36.55 today – target achieved. There is a slight possibility of the pair flirting with 37 levels but 36.5 is a good rate to convert.

 

SGD INR – whats in store for 2010

2009 proved to be a volatile year for a lot of currencies – specially the pairs with USD as one of the component, but the cross currency rates like SGD/INR showed relative stability. The pair has moved between 32 and 33.5 over the past 2 years.

The question a lot of you would be asking is what happens in 2010? So here is my analysis.

I expect SGD/INR to turn towards 32 to 30 range over the next 6 months to a year. A look at the chart below would show that the pair failed to stay past 34 mark even though it crossed it once. The pair has been hovering betwen the 33 – 33.5 mark for past 6 months. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SGD-USD movement

The Singapore Monetary authority has been maintaining a policy of gradual appreciation of SGD against the USD. This has been giving SGD strength against the INR as well (SGD/INR) being a cross rate.  The latest economic data shows that the Singapore GDP shrank by 6.8% in Q42009. This would force the MAS to rethink about the strong SGD approach. The most likely scenario is for SGD to move to the 1.45 – 1.50 range against the USD. traditionaly the MAS has allowed SGD to strenthen against basket of currencies with growth in SGD.

INR-USD movement

Indian economy on the other hand has been performing well and the projected growth in GDP is 6.5 to 7.5%. With improving GDP numbers and growth in economy the INR should strenthen back to its long term mean of 44 – 45 against the dollar. Using these two assumptions we can plot the projected move of INR against SGD.

Cross Rates between SGD/INR based on possible values of SGD/USD and INR/USD

The cells in dark green indicate the current range of SGD-INR depending on the rates of SGD and INR against the USD.

The cells in dark blue indicate the possible rates as the currencies re-adjust giving a range of 31.9 to 32.75 (this is the short term expectation – for next 3 to 6 months)

The cell is amber indicate the longish term range as the growth gathers steam over next 1 year.

So as always – I would recommend converting converting SGD to INR at any rate above Rs.33 for a Singapore dollar.

Go Long on USD/JPY @ 88.00

At the time of writting USD/JPY is trading at 88.06 after having tested 86 in the past few days. There is a general concern of yen stregnthening further but I would place my bets other way round.

My recommendation is to but USD/JPY in two tranches. first one now at 88 and again if it drops around 86. There should be a quick bounce back to 90 giving around a 3 – 5 % gain.

Over the next 3 months USD/JPY should make a move towards 93-95 range.

Detailed analysis

The USD JPY chart below shows that the pair is trading near its 2 years lows. From a pure technical perspective this is a reason good enough to initiate long position.

 

From the fundamental perspective the risk of inflation has started to look very real in next few months. The central banks would have to increase interest rates in the coming months. The trend has already staretd in the Asian economies.

With Fed tightening the interest rates the carry trade between USD and JPY will be back in vogue. One can argue that Japan can increase the interest rates as well – but seeing the latest GDP and export numbers, Japan has every incentive for a weaker currency.

It is very difficult to say if the pair would return back to the 120 – 123 mark in near future but a good 10% upside from the current levels of 88 is what I am expecting.

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Update – 15 Dec 2009

The USD/JPY achieved the first target of 90.00. People can hold position for the longer term. Over the next 6 months period it would not be surprising to see USD/JPY flirt with the 98 – 101 levels.

happy trading.

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UPDATE: 4th Jan 2010

The Pair has touched 93 and the next target is now 96 and then 98. Though i must say I was not expecting the move to be this quick. I would reduce half of my position at 95 and look to buy again if it drops to 90 -91 range

SGD/INR whats happening with it?

Its been time since the last post on SGD/INR and a lot has happened in the currency market. Though surprisingly the SGD/INR rate has moved in the narrow range of 32.5 – 33.50.
The past few months saw SGD strenthening from 1.55 to 1.44 against the US dollar. Rupee on the other hand moved from 52.5 to 48.00 against the greenback.
The interest rates front has turned interesting as well – the central banks are not so focused on inflation and growth seems to have caught their attention once again. The rates have softened across geographies. The Interest rate in singapore for a long term deposit will average around 1.25% and India a long term deposit brings in 7% on an average (though the long term National Savings certificates still get 8% but the lock in is for 5 years)
In the light of the new data converting singapore dollars to Indian Rupees still makes sense.

Even if the Singapore dollar stays at 32.75 agaist the Rupee the gain turns out to the 5.6% and a chance of loss is only if the Rupee weakens beyond 34.60 against the SGD.

As earlier thats a unlikely scenario. The probability of Rupee strenthening against the USD to the range of 44 – 46 is extremely likely and that would see SGD INR heading down to Rs.30 levels. When will that happen is really difficult to say, but for the time being it still makes a lot of sense to convert SGD to INR (those of you who followed the post in the past must already be sitting on annualilsed gains of 5.6%).

If you want to go a step further then borrow in Singapore dollars – a lot of banks are running offers for 6 month loans for a effective rate of 3% p.a – and convert to INR.

Even with the interest lay out you stand to make near riskless gains of upto 3% or more!!

Immigrant Population and cost of remittance

In the new flattened world the mobility of labour is at levels never seen before in history. You would find people from Philippines working in US and Saudi Arabia and so would be workers from Suriname working in Netherlands. A general trend is people from poor or developing countries moving to the greener pastures of Developed countries to break free from poverty and lower standards of life. These workers are contributors to the home countries forex reserves as well as the improved living conditions of their families.
World Bank maintains an intersting stastic of cost of sending money from one country to another for small remittances – $250 and $635 USD equivalent.

The most interesting inference that can be drawn from these graphs is the constitution of the immigrant work force in the country of origin for the remittance. The cost of transfering money also represents the development of the receiving countries banking system.

Interestingly India appears to be one of the top 5 destinations to which money can be remitted cheaply in most of the cases, which shows the spread of Indian workforce across the globe.

A few samples from the World Bank site are reproduced below:

Canada can_1033

Francefra_1033

Germanydeu_1033

United Kingdomgbr_1033

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Statesusa_1033

Singaporesgp_1033

 

 

Even Better time to convert your SGD to INR

With the recent volatile movements in the Currency markets and substantial weakening of INR against the USD here are some more analysis on SGD/INR conversion.

The latest USD/INR rate in the interbank market stands at 51.75 (3 March 2009, 3:00 GMT), this is a appx. 4.5% deprecaiation since the last post. SGD on the other hand has depreciated by appx. 2.0% against the USD – from 1.517 to 1.556.

The trend shows a beta of appx. 2 between the depreciation of INR against USD as compared to SGD against USD.

The latest market buzz is for the INR to depreciate to Rs.54 against the dollar on a conservative basis and Rs.56 on a pessimistic basis due to balance of payments situation, falling GDP growth rate and overall withdrawal of Foreign Direct Investment.

 This would translate to a depreciation between 9% to 13% from the rate of 49.5. If the beta factor holds then the SGD should depreciate by 4.5% to 6.5% from the base price of 1.517. This would give a range of 1.585 to 1.615 against the USD.

Using the cross rates the SGD/INR should be in the range of 34.06 to 34.67, resulting in movement between 3% to 5% from the current price of 33.06 over a period of 3 months – if Rupee depreciates further

The interest rate gain for three months would avg 2% [(9% (indian Fixed deposit rate) – 1%(singapore deposit rate)/4] so even if rupee weakens down to 56 against the dollar you stand to gain 5%-2% = 3% if you hold for three months and 1% if it touches Rs.54. Given the interest rate diffrential and probability of more than expecetd weakening of SGD against the USD (beyong 1.617), it is a even better time to convert SGD to INR

Right time to convert your SGD to INR

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)

    usdsgd

  usdinr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:
sgdinr-projection

 

 

 

Conclusion
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