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India’s Bonds Drop a Second Day Before Debt Auction This Week

Indian bonds fell for a second day on speculation investors will refrain from adding to their holdings before a government debt sale this week.

The finance ministry will sell 120 billion rupees ($2.4 billion) of notes due in 2018, 2021 and 2041 on March 9, the central bank said in a statement yesterday. Investors were also wary of buying as payment of tax by companies by March 15 may worsen a cash shortage, according to K. Ramanathan, chief investment officer at ING Investment Management Pvt. in Mumbai.

“Investors are probably staying on the sidelines before the auction,” Ramanathan said.

The yield on the 8.79 percent notes due in November 2021 rose one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 8.24 percent in Mumbai, according to the central bank’s trading system. The rate matched the level touched on March 1, which was the highest since Feb. 9.

Lenders borrowed an average 1.4 trillion rupees a day from the Reserve Bank of India in March, according to central bank data, more than double the 600 billion-rupee limit favored by the monetary authority.

One-year interest-rate swaps, or derivative contracts used to guard against fluctuations in funding costs, fell one basis point to 8.15 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Auction budget borrowing program

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