India cbank Khan clarifies spreading mark-to-market losses lapsed on March 31

MUMBAI, April 2 Wed Apr 2, 2014 7:47am EDT

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MUMBAI, April 2 (Reuters) - Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor H R Khan clarified that only the time limit for spreading bond losses held under banks' mark-to-market portfolios had lapsed on March 31, and not the waiver on bringing down the ratio of debt under the held-to-maturity segment.

Earlier in the day, Khan had created confusion in markets after he was asked by an analyst during a teleconference about a temporary waiver from a rule that banks bring down the ratio of debt under the held-to-maturity (HTM) category to 23 percent.

He had responded by saying the waiver had lapsed, and traders had believed the remark meant that banks would need to cut down their ratio of debt under the HTM category to 23 percent.

However, he later told Reuters his answer had been about another rule mandating banks spread bond losses under their mark-to-market portfolio by March 31.

"SLR (statutory liquidity ratio) position remains as it is pending further review," Khan told Reuters.

The RBI had in August provided a temporary relief to banks from a rule mandating they cut their HTM portfolio gradually and had also allowed lenders to spread their MTM losses in their trading books over three quarters in equal instalments. (Reporting by Suvashree Dey Choudhury and Neha Dasgupta)

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