The Reserve Bank of India has bought the most dollars among its Asian peers recently, a sign that the central bank may be worried about a sovereign credit downgrade, according to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.

It purchased $30 billion of foreign exchange in the four months to July to bolster what is already the world’s fifth-largest FX hoard, according to estimates by Khoon Goh. That accounts for more than half of Asia ex-China’s $55-billion intervention during the period, the ANZ analyst said.

The persistent intervention even when the Indian rupee had not been under strong appreciation pressure represents a change in the RBI’s forex policy, the Singapore-based head of Asia research at ANZ, wrote in a note. This could reflect a desire to build a bigger buffer amid India’s deteriorating fiscal position to safeguard against a further downgrade in the sovereign rating.

With 4.8 per cent losses

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