While investing in property or purchasing in Indian currency in a foreign place may become more expensive, there are chances for an NRI to benefit. If you are an NRI investing in your home country, India, the devaluation of the Indian rupee means that every dollar you repatriate home is worth considerably more.
The recent drop in the Indian rupee (INR) has created economic difficulty in the country. It has also unintentionally added to your financial woes. Typically, a reduction in the rupee value increases the cost of imported goods, services, and capital. India is an import-oriented economy. And, a fall in the rupee value would have a severe effect on the Balance of Payments as well as family budgets. On the other hand, NRIs earn in foreign currency, particularly the US dollar (USD), and have the option to invest in the motherland and participate in the country’s economic restoration.
Since the start of the fiscal year 2022, the INR has been falling against the USD, falling from roughly Rs 74.40 to 77.56, a drop of around 4.2 percent. Although the INR is at a historic low versus the USD, the drop is quite minor compared to other currencies like the Japanese yen, which has plummeted roughly 12% against the US dollar this year.
The recent collapse in the Indian rupee can be attributed to several factors. The primary cause of the decline is geopolitical risk associated with uncertain global conditions. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the rupee has been under considerable pressure. Because Russia and Ukraine are both major producers of energy, agricultural, and industrial goods, crises in these two countries resulted in higher pricing for crucial commodities globally, contributing to global inflation. India, the world’s third-largest importer of crude oil, has been hit hard by record-high crude oil prices.
Furthermore, many analysts are raising growth worries in China because of the lockdown following an increase in Covid-19 cases. Furthermore, the Russia-Ukraine tensions lead to global inflation due to supply scarcity.
Notably, the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike, rising global interest rates, the never-ending Russia and Ukraine War, higher crude oil prices, and surging Covid cases in China have led to FPIs selling in emerging markets and moving to safer assets in developed markets. It has contributed to the rupee’s depreciation.
The current downturn has increased the cost of spending on Indian currency for Indians. However, NRIs can take advantage of this chance. If you wish to send, spend, or invest money in India, the decreasing rupee value makes the dollars you are repatriating in the rupee much more valuable.
Historically, as the rupee falls in value, NRI investments in USD (or other stronger currencies) appear more appealing. NRIs commonly borrow monies from other countries where interest rates are substantially lower and then invest them in India where interest rates/returns are greater. But how has the present depreciation of the Indian rupee affected NRI investments in various asset classes?
Fixed Income Securities:
Interest rates are rising internationally as central banks throughout the world take steps to limit market liquidity to manage inflation. Similarly, the RBI raised policy rates by 40 basis points, causing Indian banks to contemplate raising interest rates on term deposits. As previously said, NRI investors borrow cash from foreign financial institutions and invest them in India to maximize profits. Bank fixed deposit interest rates for non-resident Indians have risen by 10 to 20 basis points, depending on the length of the deposit. In terms of predicted interest income, alternative fixed income instruments such as government bonds, corporate fixed deposits with updated interest rates, and so on would be more appealing to NRI investors. Furthermore, due to the devaluation of the INR, your savings and bonds maturing in India will be worth more in terms of USD if you can convert them shortly.
Debt mutual funds
Debt mutual funds get favored by many NRI investors because they are more tax-efficient and have a larger return potential. Debt mutual funds primarily invest in fixed-income instruments. But, the duration strategy has been harmed by the rise in interest rates. Very short maturity funds and debt funds with an accrual approach will do better and may gain from the rise in interest rates. Your present investments in debt mutual funds with medium to longer-term securities may experience increased volatility. However, if NRI investors plan to redeem the units and convert them to USD anytime soon, some of the losses to the debt fund value may be recovered owing to the reduced INR value.
Mutual Funds of Stocks:
Stocks and mutual funds may provide investors with much better inflation-beating and tax-efficient returns, making them one of the recommended investment alternatives for NRIs. The decline in the INR and the recent correction in the equity markets have made investments in Indian equities and equity mutual funds even more appealing to NRI investors who have been waiting to invest their new money. Your money invested in offshore shares denominated in USD would fetch a higher value when converted to INR.
However, the geopolitical risk and the existing insecurity of the Indian market make it unwise to participate in riskier investment outlets such as equities and equity funds using borrowed cash. In reality, it is never a good idea to invest borrowed money in high-risk investing opportunities.
Precious metals and gold:
Gold prices often have a stronger association with the USD. As a result, the depreciation of the Indian rupee has a negative influence on the price of gold and other precious metals in India. As a result, the decline in the rupee value makes gold investing even more appealing to NRI investors overseas. As a result, many NRI investors contemplate investing in gold when gold prices or the rupee value fall and profiting when prices rise.
The RBI’s first raise in the benchmark interest rate in two years has made borrowing more expensive for property purchasers. However, when the rupee falls in value, it presents an opportunity for NRIs to invest in real estate in India. This has resulted in a rise in international real estate inquiries. Although it is widely assumed that NRI real estate investment would be advantageous when the rupee falls, this is only true if you are in the final stages of purchasing the property and waiting for a cash transfer. The NRI real estate buying procedure can take at least two to three months, and the rupee may stabilize during this time. So, if you want to take advantage of the current scenario, buying a home in India today will only benefit you if the rupee continues to decline or remains at a lower level for some time.
With the increased popularity of cryptocurrency, many NRI investors have discovered a new asset to invest in for better profits. However, cryptocurrencies represent a larger risk, therefore one must exercise caution and avoid going overboard while investing in cryptos. Most NRI crypto investors in India do not favor investing in cryptocurrencies through their NRI accounts due to the hefty taxes on crypto earnings and the rigorous rules imposed by the Indian government. Because most cryptocurrencies are denominated in USD, the rupee’s depreciation has little influence on NRI crypto investors.
The decrease in the INR has affected NRI investors differently depending on the asset sectors in which they invest. NRI investors must use extreme caution while selecting the appropriate investment opportunities, taking into account interest rates and taxation. Also, keep in mind that diversification is the key to limiting risk in such volatile times. Also, NRI investors are all in a stronger place to diversify their investment strategy across regions if they fit the NRI investor requirements. Assetmonk is a real estate investing platform with a high yield. It’s a website that acts as a go-between for NRI real estate investments. It provides high-quality real estate assets at reasonable prices. It relieves NRIs of the wasteful and time-consuming process of searching for property in India.
Sections 80C and 80TTA of the Income-Tax Act of India also permit various tax deductions. The streamlined payment rule encourages NRIs to continue investing in India’s real estate industry. When acquiring a home, NRIs can deposit funds in their NRO account and pay the seller from this account.
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