Posts Tagged ‘Parliament winter session

16
Dec
12

Currency Options USDINR: December series

November series for USDINR options expired on 29th November as expected. In last week of November, Rupee made a dash towards 56. I don’t have a large position on either side in this series.

Given stalemate on US fiscal cliff situation, INR remains vulnerable to any global risk off trade in December last week. On the other side, Government of India (GoI) has become proactive on reforms front. If GoI is able to pass increase in FDI limit in insurance & pension, Banking act in last week of winter session of parliament, then Rupee should find support and even rally. Last week, GoI passed Land acquisition bill, Cabinet committee on Investment board (watered down version of National Investment Board) under PM. SP & BSP, who had supported GoI on FDI vote in retail (direct and indirect), are at loggerheads in Parliament on reservation in promotion for SC/ST. Government will find it tough to pass anything in Parliament on account of this logjam. On 18th December, I don’t expect RBI to cut interest rates. There might be 25 bps cut in CRR, but not in repo rate.

Last week of December should be a good time to build some position for January series. I don’t expect Rupee to breach its previous low of 57.37 in December & January.

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28
Oct
12

Currency Options USDINR: November series

October series for USDINR currency options will expire on Monday. If nothing unexpected happens on Monday, I expect all my sold call & put options to expire worthless. Sold call options strike ranged from 55.5-58 and sold put options ranged from 50-51.5. Call options sold were naked options but put options were ratio spreads (For every bought 52 put, I had sold 10 lots of 50-51.5 puts).

November series should be tough as compared to October series. It is one of the longest series of the year in terms of number of days. There are a lot of important events in November, which if panned out adversely can put pressure on Rupee. Euro has come down from high of 1.32 to 1.29 in recent weeks. On 31st October, RBI will announce its decision on policy rate cut. RBI is under lot of pressure from the Government and Industry to reduce policy rates. 25 bps CRR cut is at least expected from RBI but repo rate cut will boost Rupee.

US markets have been correcting recently on account of below par quarterly results. After US presidential elections in first week of November, focus will shift to safe resolution of fiscal cliff issue. There might be some be some political posturing and dithering on the issue, but eventually it will pass. More the issue lingers on, world markets will be nervous.

Some more positive action from government on policy front issue will be positive for markets. Passage of NIB (National Investment Board – single window clearance for mega projects mooted by PM) will be big positive in that light. Winter session of parliament will also start in November and I don’t expect anything meaningful from that. This session should pan out more or less in similar manner as last session.

Given all this I have started selling OTM calls for November series. I don’t expect big crack in Rupee on downside. It seems that RBI has bought some dollars around 52 levels in October (http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/rupee/rbibuysdollarat52_774013.html). I haven’t sold any puts  till now. It’s wait and watch approach on put side.

03
Dec
11

Retail FDI drama continues..

Political logjam continues over retail FDI issue in Parliament. Indian government had finally woken up from its slumber and cabinet passed one of the   boldest reforms in the history of modern India. Although, its timing may be questionable (just before UP assembly elections). I think, government might have been forced to act on reforms front on account of sharply depreciating rupee, ballooning fiscal deficit and policy paralysis criticism from every corner.  For once, I won’t criticize the Congress government. Opposition led by BJP have been protesting against this move. Left which is fighting survival battle has joined hands with untouchables (BJP), as they fondly call them, in stalling parliament proceedings during the winter session. It’s a shame that the world’s largest democracy parliament has not been allowed to function on account of this reform. Instead of discussing the pros and cons of the issue, opposition just wants voting. They are well aware that with allies (TMC, DMK) deserting them on the issue, the government is on a sticky wicket. If voting is done in parliament, government might not have majority on its side.

Retail stocks led by Pantaloon retail rallied hard on account of this FDI reform. Pantaloon was hammered out of shape after its Q2 FY12 results. Short covering and new longs helped India’s largest retailer to rally hard. If news reports are to be believed Pantaloon is in talks with French retailer giant, Carrefour for JV. In long-term this JV will surely help Pantaloon and improve its valuations. But if you read about country politics, then you might have been skeptical about the sharp rise in retailer share price. These kind of reforms are not difficult to pass and especially just before important UP elections. Lot of chief ministers have also raised their voice against allowing foreign retailers setting shops in their respective states. Traders are powerful lobby in this country and they will also protest. I have sold December series OTM calls and puts of Pantaloon retail (I have covered some calls after share price decline). Eventually this bill will pass and Pantaloon share price will rise, but not very sharply (http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/too-early-to-celebrate-for-pantaloon-retail/456608/). Neither its share price will fall very sharply now, as I don’t think this FDI will be rolled back. It might take some time but eventually this reform will be passed. In fact, on very sharp declines, I am looking to buy Pantaloon retail shares.




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