Covid-19: RBI advances purchase of govt bonds to March 26 from March 30

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday said it has preponed the second tranche of purchase of Rs 15,000 crore of government securities under open market operations (OMOs) to March 26.

The OMO purchase auction was earlier scheduled for March 30.

"On review of current liquidity and financial conditions, the RBI has decided to advance the second tranche of purchase of government securities under OMOs for Rs 15,000 crore to March 26, 2020," the RBI said in a release.

The four government bonds to be bought by the RBI in the auction include 8.08 per cent-2022; 7.68 per cent-2023; 7.27 per cent-2026 and 7.17per cent-2028, the release said.

These bonds will be purchased through a multi-security auction using the multiple price method.

The first tranche of OMO purchase auction worth Rs 15,000 crore will be conducted on March 24.

Last week, the RBI said it would conduct two OMO purchase auctions worth Rs 30,000 crore in two tranches in March to provide liquidity to the market.

The RBI had said that with Covid-19-related dislocations, stress in certain financial market segments is still severe and financial conditions remain tight.

"Our endeavour is to ensure that all markets segments function normally with adequate liquidity and turnover," it had said. 

"The RBI is monitoring the evolving financial market conditions. It will calibrate operations to meet any need for additional liquidity support, if warranted, to ensure normal functioning of markets, promote staff welfare and preserve financial stability," it said in a statement.

India has confirmed more than 350 cases of coronavirus, with seven deaths so far. Experts have said the number of cases reflect rates during the early stages of the outbreak in other countries, which then spiked sharply in subsequent weeks.

Dozens of districts across India have been put under lockdowns with train and bus services suspended in most places, causing panic among investors and sparking sell-offs in bonds, equities and the rupee, which hit fresh lifetime-low early on Monday.

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