Shares of state-owned oil marketing companies, IOC, HPCL and BPCL, rose up to 4 per cent today after the Reserve Bank of India opened a special window to help the three firms, which need about $8.5 billion every month to meet their daily foreign exchange requirement.

RBI had taken this measure to check the rupee’s free fall.

IOC’s scrip went up 3.6 per cent to Rs 214.10, while BPCL shares jumped 3 per cent to Rs 277 on the BSE. Similarly, HPCL’s scrip gained 3 per cent to Rs 168.90.

“RBI has opened forex window for oil marketing companies.

It is likely to curb rupee pressure and volatility. Positive for overall markets for short to medium term,” Vivek Mahajan, Head of Research, Aditya Birla Money, said.

“On the basis of assessment of current market conditions, RBI has decided to open a forex swap window to meet the entire daily dollar requirements of the three public sector oil marketing companies (IOC, HPCL and BPCL),” the central bank had said in a statement yesterday.

The PSU oil companies are the biggest buyers of dollar, and they need $8-8.5 billion every month for importing an average 7.5 million tonnes of crude oil. The RBI decision is aimed at curbing volatility in the forex market.

Under the swap facility, the RBI had said, it will “sell/buy USD-INR forex swaps for fixed tenor with the oil marketing companies through a designated bank’’.

The swap facility gets operationalised with immediate effect and will remain in place until further notice, it said.

(This article was published on August 29, 2013)
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