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!!
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
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