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India’s Rupee Strengthens a Second Day as Debt Inflows Increase

Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- India’s rupee strengthened for a second day as exchange data showed foreign investors stepped up purchases of the nation’s bonds.

The Securities & Exchange Board of India auctioned $5 billion of corporate debt-purchase quotas on Nov. 30 to foreigners, who must utilize the allocations by Feb. 28 or let them expire. Overseas funds lifted holdings of rupee-denominated notes by $98 million in the first two days of this week, following last week’s net sales of $275 million, according to data from the Securities & Exchange Board of India.

The rupee is “taking support from foreign investors’ buying,” Pramit Brahmbhatt, chief executive officer at the Indian unit of Alpari Financial Services, wrote in an e-mail today. “Oil importers restricted the rupee’s gain.”

The rupee advanced 0.1 percent to 49.20 per dollar in Mumbai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The nation’s trade deficit averaged $15.3 billion a month in the last quarter of 2011, up from $11.8 billion in the preceding period, as overseas purchases exceeded sales, government data show.

Three-month onshore rupee forward contracts traded at 50.22 a dollar, compared with 50.24 yesterday, and offshore non-deliverable contracts were at 50.24 from 50.29. Forwards are agreements to buy or sell assets at a set price and date. Non-deliverable contracts are settled in dollars.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeanette Rodrigues in Mumbai at jrodrigues26@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sandy Hendry at shendry@bloomberg.net

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