India central bank keeps rates on hold despite economy fears

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das (L) attends a press conference at the central bank’s headquarters in Mumbai on December 5, 2019. (File/AFP)
Updated 05 December 2019

India central bank keeps rates on hold despite economy fears

  • A Reuters poll of 70 economists had predicted the RBI would cut its repo rate by 25 bps and then by another 15 bps in the second quarter of 2020

MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India kept its key lending rate on hold in a surprise decision on Thursday, despite a worrying slowdown in the country that prompted the central bank to sharply reduce its economic growth forecast to 5 percent for the year through March.

The six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) unanimously voted to hold the key repo rate at 5.15 percent while the reverse repo rate was also held at 4.90 percent.

The RBI reiterated that it would maintain an accommodative stance as long as it is necessary to revive economic growth which slowed to 4.5 percent in the September quarter from 7 percent a year ago, to stand at its lowest in more than six years.

“The MPC recognizes that there is monetary policy space for future action. However, given the evolving growth-inflation dynamics, the MPC felt it appropriate to take a pause at this juncture,” the committee said in a statement.

A Reuters poll of 70 economists had predicted the RBI would cut its repo rate by 25 bps and then by another 15 bps in the second quarter of 2020, where it will stay at least until 2021.


Getting more women into leadership positions top priority: CEO

This June 23, 2018 photo, shows a general view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)
Updated 18 January 2020

Getting more women into leadership positions top priority: CEO

  • Saudi Arabia is focusing on the Business 20 (B20), making this one of the key engagement groups. Women in Business will be Saudi Arabia’s signature topic

RIYADH: The boss of one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest banks says that getting more women into leadership positions is a top priority.
Samba CEO Rania Nashar chairs the action council for Women in Business created by the Business Twenty (B20), which is the official G20 dialogue with the business community. It represents the global business community across all G20 member states and all economic sectors.
She said the council was set up to boost women’s particpation not only in business but also in global leadership positions.
During the launch of the B20 in Saudi Arabia this week, Nashar highlighted the under-representation of women in the economy.
“There is a gap of 27 percent between male and female workers; 75 percent of males are part of the labor force while only 48 percent of females are working,” she said.
She said it was important not to just talk about women as workers but as business owners.

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Saudi Arabia will host the 15th G20 Summit in Riyadh on Nov. 21-22, 2020.

“That’s why entrepreneurship is very fundamental to our task force,” she said.  “The majority of the finance development programs have incentives for giving loans to females; however, despite the fact that many large borrowers are females, the amount of loans granted to them is far below what is granted to males,” she added.
Nashar said that two-thirds of female business founders feel that they were not taken seriously by investors when they pitch for investments. They also feel that they are treated differently from their male counterparts.
Saudi Arabia will host the 15th G20 Summit in Riyadh on Nov. 21-22, 2020. The Kingdom is focusing on the Business 20 (B20), making this one of the key engagement groups. Women in Business will be Saudi Arabia’s signature topic.