TMS Ep169: Weak rupee, 5G auction, Q&A with Mark Matthews, Open RAN

Indian Rupee weakened further on Monday and touched an all-time low figure against a surging US dollar. And experts believe that it may depreciate further — pouring cold water over RBI’s efforts which recently raised interest rates to bring down the inflation. In the central bank’s own calculations, every 5% fall in the rupee adds about 10-15 bps to the inflation. So what does a weaker rupee mean for the Indian economy which is already weathering several storms? And what does it mean for people at large who are at the receiving end of high inflation? A depreciating Indian rupee will indeed dent the Centre’s exchequer. But the government has several avenues to refill it.

It has been eyeing the rollout of 5G for a while now — which may help it address the revenue shortfall. But now, when the decks are cleared for it, the telecom operators look upset as some of their demands have not been fulfilled — suggesting that the upcoming auction may get a lukewarm response. It’s not just the 5G roll out, but the markets too are staring at a bumpy road ahead. With the US Federal Reserve and the RBI making their policy intent clear, will the equity markets across the globe now go into a correction mode? How should investors approach the markets in the backdrop of this policy shift? Will foreign funds come back into Indian equities if the economic growth remains robust? Business Standard’s Puneet Wadhwa spoke to Mark Matthews, head of research for Asia at Julius Baer to get his views on the recent developments and the road ahead for global equity markets as they adjust to the ‘new normal’ of rising interest rates. After the markets, let us move on to a technology which is crucial to 5G roll out. Short for Open Radio Access Network, the Open RAN is critical to 5G deployment. In India’s context, the Open RAN architecture is essential but also fraught with challenges. We will get to it, but let us first understand what O-RAN is in this episode of the podcast.

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