* Govt will not lower withholding tax on federal
* Comments come after limit auction sees muted response from
* Improved liquidity conditions help support bond prices
By Subhadip Sircar
MUMBAI, July 5 Indian federal bond yields rose
on Thursday on waning hopes for lower withholding taxes for
foreign investors, on a session already marked by disappointment
after an auction of debt limits for overseas participants
attracted only tepid demand.
An auction of unused debt limits for foreign institutional
investors late on Wednesday was under-subscribed, reflecting a
lack of interest that analysts attributed to lock in periods
that reduced the appeal of government debt.
Bonds were further hurt after a senior finance ministry
official said on Thursday the government has no plan to reduce
the withholding tax for foreign investors buying government
bonds, saying demand for these bonds was "strong."
"The poor FII response was expected as the category was not
attractive. There is no great trigger for the bond market, and I
expect the benchmark paper to trade in the 8-8.25 percent band,"
said Killol Pandya, head of fixed income at Daiwa Mutual Fund.
The benchmark 10-year bond rose 2 basis
points to 8.18 percent, while the previous 10-year bond closed
up 1 basis point at 8.34 percent.
The most traded 9.15 percent 2024 bond also
settled up 1 basis points at 8.39 percent.
Though Indian domestic bond markets remain mainly
domestically-driven, some investors have been hoping the
government would seek to attract more foreign investments.
Previous auctions have showed the strongest interest in
government bonds, though some of the appeal is believed to be
hampered by lock-in periods for some types of federal debt and a
tax rate of around 20 percent for securities owned by
Despite the disappointment, bond prices could see some
support should liquidity conditions continue to improve.
Repo borrowings from the central bank's window dropped to
146.60 billion rupees, the lowest in 9 months.
Dealers however the sharp fall was primarily due to banks
having more than met their short-term funding requirements,
saying the cash deficit could rise to closer to 500 billion
rupees. Still, those levels would be well below levels of over 1
trillion rupees in June.
Meanwhile, the one-year OIS rate closed
down 3 basis points at 7.76 percent, while the five-year rate
closed steady at 7.21 percent.
(Editing by Rafael Nam)