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Economy Jun 25, 2012

Oil cos may not be able to buy more dollars from RBI

India's three big state-run oil retailers together hold oil bonds worth about $5 billion, which is likely to be the maximum amount of dollars these companies will be able to buy directly from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

There have been talks that the RBI may sell dollars to oil companies directly against oil bonds to reduce demand from market and contain volatility in the rupee.

The RBI last sold dollars to oil companies against oil bonds between 2008 and 2009. Reuters

Indian Oil Corp , Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum hold oil bonds worth Rs 150 billion , Rs 69 billion and Rs 60 billion respectively, officials from the oil companies said.

The rupee rallied on Monday on hopes for government measures to halt a slump in the currency, which hit a record low on Friday, with traders saying action to boost long-term foreign investment would be the most effective step.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Saturday that India would unveil measures on Monday but gave no details.

The RBI last sold dollars to oil companies against oil bonds between 2008 and 2009.

Reuters

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