New India central bank chief raises hopes with action plan
MUMBAI (REUTERS) - India's new central bank chief kicked off his term with a bang, announcing a spate of measures to support the embattled rupee and unveiling a raft of steps to liberalise financial markets and the banking sector.
In an unexpectedly detailed and wide-ranging briefing, Mr Raghuram Rajan outlined plans to attract more funds from overseas by subsidising hedging costs for banks and making it easier for importers and exporters to hedge currency risk.
He made clear his intention to liberalise markets, including pushing for more rupee trade settlement, introducing new financial products such as overnight interest rate swaps and removing curbs on opening new branches by Indian banks.
"Some of the actions I take will not be popular," said Mr Rajan, who famously predicted the global financial crisis and took over at the central bank in Mumbai on Wednesday after nearly a year as chief economic advisor in the finance ministry in New Delhi.