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What is Repo Rate, Reverse Repo Rate ?

A repo or repurchase Agreement is an instrument of money market. Usually reserve bank (federal bank in U.S) and commercial banks involve in repo transactions but not restricted to these two. Individuals, banks, financial institutes can also participate in repurchase agreement. Repo is a collateralized lending i.e. the banks which borrow money from Reserve Bank to meet short term needs have to sell securities, usually bonds to Reserve Bank with an agreement to repurchase the same at a predetermined rate and date. In this way for the lender of the cash (usually Reserve Bank) the securities sold by the borrower are the collateral against default risk and for the borrower of cash (usually commercial banks) cash received from the lender is the collateral. Reserve bank charges some interest rate on the cash borrowed by banks. This rate is usually less than the interest rate on bonds as the borrowing is collateral. This interest rate is called repo rate. The lender of securities is said to be doing repo whereas the lender of cash is said to be doing reverse repo. In a reverse repo Reserve Bank borrows money from banks by lending securities. The interest paid by Reserve Bank in this case is called reverse repo rate. Borrower of funds is called as seller of repo and lender of funds is called as buyer of repo. When the term of the loan is for one day it is known as an overnight repo and if it is for more than one day it is called a term repo. The forward clean price of bonds is set at a level which is different from the spot clean price by adjusting the difference between repo rate and coupon earned on the security.

Current Reference Rates: Repo Rate : 7.50% Reverse Repo Rate: 8.50% Bank Rate: 9.50%

What is CRR? Cash reserve Ratio (CRR) is the amount of funds that the banks have to keep with the RBI. If the central bank decides to increase the CRR, the available amount with the banks comes down. The RBI uses the CRR to drain out excessive money from the system. Commercial banks are required to maintain with the RBI an average cash balance, the amount of which shall not be less than 3% of the total of the Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL), on a fortnightly basis and the RBI is empowered to increase the rate of CRR to such higher rate not exceeding 20% of the NDTL. What is Reverse Repo rate? Reverse Repo rate is the rate at which the RBI borrows money from commercial banks. Banks are always happy to lend money to the RBI since their money are in safe hands with a good interest. An increase in reverse repo rate can prompt banks to park more funds with the RBI to earn higher returns on idle cash. It is also a tool which can be used by the RBI to drain excess money out of the banking system. What is a Repo Rate? The rate at which the RBI lends money to commercial banks is called repo rate. It is an instrument of monetary policy. Whenever banks have any shortage of funds they can borrow from the RBI. A reduction in the repo rate helps banks get money at a cheaper rate and vice versa. The repo rate in India is similar to the discount rate in the US.

Repo Rate and Bank Rate People often get confused between these two terms. Though they appear similar there is a basic difference between them. Repo rate or repurchase rate is the rate at which banks borrow money from the central bank (read RBI for India) for short period by selling their securities (financial assets) to the central bank with an agreement to repurchase it at a future date at predetermined price. It is similar to borrowing money from a money-lender by selling him something, and later buying it back at a pre-fixed price. Bank rate is the rate at which banks borrow money from the central bank without any sale

of securities. It is generally for a longer period of time. This is similar to borrowing money from someone and paying interest on that amount. Both these rates are determined by the central bank of the country based on the demand and supply of money in the economy. Reverse Repo Rate Reverse repo rate is the rate of interest at which the central bank borrows funds from other banks for a short duration. The banks deposit their short term excess funds with the central bank and earn interest on it. Reverse Repo Rate is used by the central bank to absorb liquidity from the economy. When it feels that there is too much money floating in the market, it increases the reverse repo rate, meaning that the central bank will pay a higher rate of interest to the banks for depositing money with it. CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) Banks are required to maintain a percentage of their deposits as cash, meaning that if you deposit Rs. 100/- in your bank, then bank cant use the entire Rs. 100/- for lending or investment purpose. They have to maintain a portion of the deposit as cash and can use only the remaining amount for lending/investment. This minimum percentage which is determined by the central bank is known as Cash Reserve Ratio. So if CRR is 6% then it means for every Rs. 100/- deposited in bank, it has to maintain a minimum of Rs. 6/- as cash. However banks do not keep this cash with them, but are required to deposit it with the central bank, so that it can help them with cash at the time of need. SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio) Apart from keeping a portion of deposits with the RBI as cash, banks are also required to maintain a minimum percentage of deposits with them at the end of every business day, in the form of gold, cash, government bonds or other approved securities. This minimum percentage is called Statutory Liquidity Ratio. Example If you deposit Rs. 100/- in bank, CRR being 6% and SLR being 8%, then bank can use 100-6-8= Rs.84/- 86/- for giving loan or for investment purpose. as loan, they become relatively safer. Conclusion Thus we conclude that the central bank of a country uses these rates to fight inflation and to keep a check on economy.

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