MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India net sold dollars for the first time since Raghuram Rajan took over as to meet dollar demand from oil companies while dollar inflows slowed down after the closure of special swap window.

Net dollar sales in the spot market amounted to $ 1.92 billion in January, according to the data released by the central bank on Friday.

“This may be due to the effect of swap conversions,” said Pramit Brahmbhatt – CEO, Alpari Financial Services. “Those swap transactions came for expiry. At the time of settlement, those companies (oil companies) have to buy dollars against rupee from the RBI.”

As soon as Raghuram Rajan took over as the governor in September’13, he announced concessions to banks to attract special NRI deposits to boost capital inflows to prop up the rupee which had touched its life’s low. The scheme was discontinued in November though committed inflows continued till end of December. The central bank collected about $ 34 billion through this scheme.

The Indian rupee had hit all time low at 68.82 per US dollar on August 28. Since then, it has recovered 11.60% so far. The new RBI governor Raghuram Rajan took a raft of measures to stem rupee’s free fall against the greenback.

The Indian rupee on Monday rose to its seven month-high level against the US dollar as overseas investors extended buying into both equities and debt. The partially convertible rupee closed at 60.85 per dollar, up 0.38% or 23 paisa from 61.08 on Friday. It rose as high as 60.79, its strongest level since August, 2013.

Foreign investors net bought about Rs 2600 crore in shares on Friday, their biggest daily purchase since December 9. For the year, overseas funds have bought a net $852.10 million in equities and $5.6 billion in debt.

Net dollar purchases by RBI

( $ million)

September’13 – 3548

October’13 – 3928

November’13 10087

December’13 3483

January’13 – 1929

( $ million)

Source: RBI