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Remit, invest, save: 5 things NRIs can do with their rupees

Remit, invest, save: 5 things NRIs can do with their rupees

Indian rupee drops to 5-month low.

By KT Digital

Published: Wed 16 Nov 2016, 6:26 PM

Last updated: Thu 17 Nov 2016, 12:53 AM

The beleaguered Indian rupee declined for the fourth consecutive session on Wednesday to hit a fresh 5-month low against the US dollar and, therefore, the UAE dirham.
Just over a week after India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the shock demonetisation drive, purging the country of Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes, the rupee is down almost 3 per cent against the UAE dirham.
Also read: NRIs in UAE may have Rs 2.8 billion cash in hand
While customers in India brave serpentine queues at banks to exchange their old currency notes, non-resident Indians - who may be holding a substantial number of demonetised notes - are trying to figure out how best to deal with the unexpected bounty.
For, much to the expat Indian's delight, Dh1 today fetches Rs18.53 as opposed to Rs18.02 that it fetched on the day Modi announced the surprise initiative.
Also read: UAE Exchange not accepting old Indian notes
The Indian Supreme Court has asked the government to act fast to ensure that the common man doesn't suffer. "Discontinuing of higher denomination notes appears to be carpet bombing and not surgical strike," the bench said.
Nevertheless, the decline in the rupee's international value may be a golden opportunity for expat Indians to wipe off their debt or make a fresh investment.
Also read: Modi's mother stands in queue to exchange notes
Here are 5 ways expat Indians can spend their newfound wealth:

#1. By a 'distress' property in India
With the value of Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes falling to nil overnight, property transactions in India have suffered a major setback. Cash down payments have dried up, and real estate is trying to find its feet in the aftermath of the 'carpet bombing'. For those with a decent nest egg in dirhams, now is the time to invest in distress deals and take a long-term view.
Watch: Bollywood reacts after India scraps Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes
#2. Repay that loan
In case you have an outstanding mortgage or loan with a bank in India, use this opportunity to pay it off - or at least chip it down - now that the dirham/rupee exchange rate is swinging in your favour.

#3. Stock it up
Indian equity markets are as rattled as the rupee, with the Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitivity Index, a.k.a. Sensex, down almost 1,300 points since the announcement. Let's be fair - the move is net positive for the Indian economy, and will have little (if at all) impact on the long-term prospects of bluechip companies. That they are available today at rather attractive prices than they were a few days ago is an opportunity for those with a long-term view.

#4. 'Fix' it
Rupee-denominated fixed income options with Indian banks are much more attractive than dollar- or dirham-denominated options here in the UAE. You may want to consider a five-year FD with one of the national or large private banks in India.

#5. Just remit it
Whatever you might want with the money, you'll need to remit it to India first. And with the current window of a favourable exchange rate opening up nicely, the time may just be right.
Disclaimer: The above options are illustrative and not exhaustive. The article is generic in nature and should not be deemed as investment advice. You are advised to undertake your own due diligence and consult an advisor before making any investment decisions. Khaleej Times will not be liable for any losses - direct or indirect - that may arise from your reliance on such information.

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