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Remittances to India rebound in 2017, grow 10% to $69 billion: World Bank

Mumbai:Remittances from overseas Indians rose nearly 10 percent in 2017 as India retained the top spot as the largest recipient of such payments, World Bank data showed .

After declining 8.9 percent in 2016 to $62.7 billion remittances grew 9.9 percent to around $69 billion in 2017, the World Bank’s migration and remittances report said.

India was followed by China ($64 billion), the Philippines ($33 billion), Mexico ($31 billion), Nigeria ($22 billion), and Egypt ($20 billion) as the top countries receiving remittances.

Stronger growth in the European Union, Russian and the US propelled overall remittances to developing countries to a new record of $466 billion in 2017, up 8.5 percent over 2016, the World Bank said.

The rebound in remittances valued in US dollars was also helped by higher oil prices and a strengthening of the euro and the ruble, World Bank economist Dilip Ratha said in a blog post.

Remittances are likely to continue growing in 2018, aided by stronger economic conditions in advanced economies (particularly the US) and an increase in oil prices, which is beneficial to Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the report said. Flows to developing countries are expected to grow 4.1 percent to reach $485 billion in 2018.

While the flows increased, the cost of sending money remained high.

The global average cost of sending $200 was 7.1% in the first quarter of 2018, higher than the Sustainable Development Goal target of 3%, Ratha noted.

Sending money from India to Nepal and from Singapore to India cost the least while transferring funds from South Africa to India, from Japan to India and from Thailand to India was among the most expensive.