Budget 2019 & industry view on it…..

Just back from a meeting with Manish Gunwani, CIO of Reliance Mutual Fund. His views about our markets are that we are at a sweet spot where India markets will perform well. Election outcome if the seats are in the range of 180 to 250 for BJP, markets will not react. Less than 220 seats, will see a new Prime Minister, likely candidate is Nitin Gadkari. It was a little out of the box to hear Modi is not a choice, challenges of a bigger democracy.

We have very less contributors on exports. IT contributes $100B and NRI remittances at $80B. Apart from these 2 there are no big contributors. Pharma was giving some support, now with a lot of regulations, it has gone down. While our imports from Oil which is $100B and Electronics at $40B, almost takes away all of our income.

Oil price should reduce which it eventually will over a few years, due to the advent of electric vehicles and solar panel usage. With #MakeInIndia, as we begin to consume more of electronics made from India, both the big shareholders of our Forex expenses will come down. This shows a very bright future for India.

In the immediate period, 2019, though fund houses and fund managers are saying that we will have 10-15% growth, I don’t see a potential, it might take another year to get a boost for our economy.

The budget shows too much dependence on PSU disinvestments. This year Rs.90K crores to come from PSU disinvestments. Every year if we keep selling what will be left. Already government ownership in many big PSU’s have come to 50-55% levels. As it is, they are poor performers, and would not fetch good price, hence finding buyers will be a challenge.

Among PSU’s some are called Nava-Ratna’s & Mini-Ratna’s or Gems. These Gems got their shine because of government business which was like a light shown on a plain glass. Once they come to the outside world and face competition, they are very poor performers. When the light goes off, it is only plain glass with no value.

Continuous selling is also bringing down prices. Example is Coal India, where the stock was offered for sale at one price, then 5% discount, again at 3% discount and it continues. As the sale keeps happening the stock price is not moving up, thereby not giving any growth for the investor.

Now again government want to sell some more shares, which might not be an achievable target. Due to this the planned deficit of 3.4% will not be achieved. There were talks that, for the last 10 years we have been trying to maintain deficit at 3% and not achieved.

Next big damage in this budget was the bringing of a permanent expense of Rs.75K crores in the form of payments to farmers. These kind of facilities cannot be rolled back, no government will want to bit that bullet of non-popularism.

2019 probably might not be a big winning year for the markets. One very good advantage of this condition is that, if there is 2 consecutive years of no or negative returns next subsequent year will be a super star year.

2019 will set the tone for the blast off in 2020.

Rising Dollar & its implications on our economy.

Strong dollarA rise in the value of the dollar has always been painful and has impacted the economy negatively & it will not be anything new this time. The dollar is likely to touch 70 to the INR soon. When the impact on the overall economy is negative, there are some good news too when the dollar appreciates in value. The businesses that are deriving their income from exports become beneficiaries of additional profits with zero effort; all of a sudden the Net profit margins of these companies will have a rise along with their EPS, thus bringing in additional value to their stocks.

The sectors that have a positive bias when the dollar appreciates are Software, Pharma, Textiles etc., among these sectors, the companies that have good management and high growth in their performance attract high valuations in the market. Some stocks that we have picked up just before the negativity set into the rupee depreciation were Tata Elxsi, Aurobindo Pharma etc., these stocks have begun to gain strength and are contributing to the overall performance of the portfolio.

News2As of December 18th, the broad markets are down more than a percent for the month while our portfolio has managed to have 0.25% profits, thus having an advantage of 1.25% over the benchmark from 1st December 2015.

In the last 6 months our portfolio went into a churn more post China crisis and it has got automatically aligned to the software, pharma & textile stocks, holding investments in the top performing stocks in each sector. In the Mid Cap Software sector, we have exposure in Tata Elxsi, KPIT, NIIT Tech, Tale Solutions, Zensar Tech and Ramco Systems, 6 out of the top 10 list. Pharma and Textiles too have similar exposure thus giving us the best of advantage to capitalize on the dollar rout.

 

 

After Ghostly October its December pain now…..

IWaiting GirlOctober was perceived to be a weak month for the markets based on past records, while it went on to be a fairly good month. Whereas November took a marginal hit & now comes the December pain. In the last 5 years, 2 years in December was negative. So, will this year turn out to be a weak one for our markets?
Now the dynamics have taken a different shape. December has a lot of events which will make the markets swing on both directions. Some important news flow are expected on the implementation of GST and FED interest rate hike and it is most likely that in December the markets are going to be volatile. SENSEX should re-test the 25100 levels reached in August to gain strength before any rally can happen, which has a fairly good chance to occur in December.
After the Bihar election results, the government at the center has an urgent need to bring some reforms into action, while the support at the Rajya Sabha to do that, will not let it happen smoothly. So, GST may or may not happen in the winter session of the parliament. This can be tricky on the markets.
Raguram Rajan has cleared that there is not going to be any positive surprise from his side in the December policy review, which is now confirmed that there is not going to be any good news to the markets from this front.
Gold Bonds, the brainchild of Rajan, did see some good take off with about ₹917 crores on investment coming in, over a period this product will gain some market share which is a very good change for our country as we need not import Gold and that much of FOREX is saved, boosting the Current Account Deficit numbers.
Again the FED issue is getting into limelight, with the jobs data in the US markets showing strength, there are fairly good chances that the FED will hike interest rates. As of now FII’s are on the side-lines having the positive expectation on the FED meet, which if interest rates are increased, though will not cause a bigger impact to our markets as the FII’s have already sold off. While on the other hand if the decision gets postponed or has come confirmation that it is going to be delayed, then, we should look at some inflows from the Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI’s). With the domestic institutions already having a strong hand on the markets, any support from the FPI front will give an additional strength to the markets.
So, it is confirmed that there is a lot of confusion prevailing at the moment and the line of resistance in on the down side. If it so happens, which has a fairly good chance, it is good for the markets as it will build the strength required and move up. And this base building will not happen in a hurry; it will take its own time which, in the process will kill patience of traders and investors, who got into the market in the later part of the 2014-15 rallies.
Weaker hands in the market should get moved out to have a strong rally.

With such confusion prevailing what can happen to investments?
Our market is in a clear bull market trend, so all the corrections and consolidations are an advantage to accumulate on the investments, while it will require smart decisions. There are a good number of businesses which are very attractive based on their earnings, these stocks will move up and give opportunities to profit.
Pharma, NBFC, Textiles and some select technology stocks will have good runs in the coming month. Whereas the large cap stocks that form the broader indices like the SENSEX and NIFTY will have pressure. Banking is weak and is not in a hurry to run up. Metals are still weak, which might see some more consolidation and down ward pressure.
Stock investments are going to be volatile in performance; even the Equity Mutual Funds will have pressure on their performance. Baring few schemes like the ICICI Prudential Exports, which has a very dynamic portfolio, holding on to the best stocks.

Results of the September quarter was muted, sales growth was sluggish which did not bring out any businesses worthy of investment, some existing ones that were in the growth phase continue to hold on to their performance, while some prominent ones like Eicher Motors, Page Industries which had been commanding a major share of long term investment portfolios have moved out following slowdown in their business growth. These are stocks that have given its investors more than 1000 percent profits in the last 5 to 6 years and now it is correction time for them.
In the Pharma sector, front line stocks have taken a very big hit following USFDA issues, Dr. Reddy’s has lost more than 35% of its value in 2 weeks from the time the US authorities began questioning them. While bigger players have been losing the mid-caps in this segment are doing well. Stocks like Alembic Pharma, Aurobindo Pharma, Cadila etc., are getting more exposure in portfolios.

How is 2015 likely to end for the Indian Stock markets?
So far from January 2015, the major indices like the SENSEX are down about 4% and with no big booster dose available in the month of December, SENSEX is likely to close negative for 2015. After a gain of 40+ percentage in 2014, the very next year getting into Red is of a concern to the long term trend of our country.
One good advantage with a prolonged correction or consolidation as it should be fairly called, since the markets have begun to consolidate after a pretty strong rally is that the break out from the consolidation will have a higher chance of going into another very strong rally. With the prevailing economic conditions and the way India is positioned among the global markets, we will have some more super strong growth years to experience.

How is BTT portfolio placed in the markets now?
Before the markets began to consolidate, the SENSEX reached its peak in April 2015, while our portfolio held on to its strength, reached a new peak in August, just before the Chinese market crisis, which showed that our portfolio was stronger than the SENSEX. As soon as the correction set in, we had a slew of exits from the investments which had given substantial gains and have begun to get slow on their growth, in our portfolio which brought down our exposure in the markets by 25%. Our performance for 2015 has mimicked the SENSEX.
Now, there is a question, with a strong portfolio and reduced exposure, why are we not outperforming the indices?
The stocks that form our portfolio are super strong on their fundamental strength, due to which the price increase was very high. We have stocks that have generated triple digit growths on their stock prices within 2-3 months from the date of our investment. Such high growth in price have the tendency to correct faster too when the whole market gets subdued, due to which the impact on the performance is high. This impact should have normally caused under perform to under perform the broader markets, while it was not. The reason that we are at par with the index in performance was due to the reduction in exposure.
September results did not bring out new investment opportunities and with the subdued sentiment in the markets even in the festive season, January results are also not likely to show any big surprises. We will be adding new investments only when the companies begin to report good numbers and until then, we will be light on exposure giving the best possible safety to the capital invested.

When will the market go up?

ConsolidatePost China crisis, our stock markets have moved into correction mode. There were continuous challenges in the form of disturbances like the Volkswagen scandal, Bihar election results, attack on Paris along with the regular nuances like the FED rate hike and the selling by the Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) in our markets, which has almost become like a monthly issue.

In October, there was the fear of the FED hiking interest rates which got postponed to December, now the fear has come back again on the thoughts that, whether there will be a re-thinking by Yellen. And every time there is this news about the interest rate hike, it gets followed by the withdrawal of the FPI’s from our market. We have been so much at the mercy of foreign investors to support our market; a small change in their thought itself creates a downturn in our markets. As an emerging market, we have got used to this foreign investment to support our markets.

While in reality, the present situation in our markets has taken a different direction. Dependency on foreign money to move our markets are slowly coming to an end. From the data that is available it is clearly visible that the foreign support is no more required for our markets. In the April to October period, domestic institutions and retail investors have bought stocks worth 51000 Crores, on an average the domestic funds are buying stocks worth 6638 Crores or just about $1 billion, every month since May 2014 as against the FPI contribution of $787 million in the same period.

These figures show that any kind of selling by FPI’s is getting absorbed by the domestic purchase. The investment dynamics of the Indian public have had a dramatic change; SIP’s used to be about 1000 crores per month before 2014, which has now got increased to 2500 Crores per month. The beauty here is that, all this money is going into the midcaps and not the large caps. When we talk about so much inflows and the market is still weak, doubts arise as to why it is so?

The FPI’s are mostly invested in the large cap stocks, which they are liquidating, apart from the fact that the reduced interest rates will become attractive for these investors to be invested in their economies; they are realizing the mistake of wrong investments. Large cap stocks have become poor performers in the present market. The SENSEX dropped 1.48% on 18th November 2015, while the mid cap index dropped only 0.68%, the reason was FPI selling in large caps. Stocks like Larsen & Toubro, ONGC, TATA Steel etc., have been losing heavily, while their mid cap counter parts like Eicher, Page etc., are gaining big time. In the last week alone Dr. Reddy’s lost more than 25%, along with it all the frontline Pharma companies losing a large portion of their value, while stocks like Aurobindo Pharma, Cadilla, Glenmark etc., did not lose much.

Pressure of the USFDA investigations have brought down the stock prices of most of the big names in the Parma Sector. Again, this USFDA is one another issue that has been haunting our markets often. There is too much of dependency by our frontline Pharma companies for their sales from the US markets and the US is commanding, this situation will change soon. Our companies will realize that there is a similar market available in the rest of the world and with the medical facilities getting improved in India, one of the biggest economies by population, India sales itself will have a bigger contribution in the years to come.

In the first 20 days in November, FI’s have sold in our markets to the extent of 7200 Crores while the domestic institutions have bought for 17360 crores. It is close to 150% more than the sales that have happened. Most of the selling was in the frontline stocks and the buying was in the mid cap space. To some extent the selling pressure is getting absorbed by the local institutions and that is the reason we have the markets going up and down in short periods. It is like a sort of confusion and will result in a prolonged consolidation.

FPI’s are forced to re-align their portfolio if they have to make money from our markets, hence the selling pressure. Whereas the domestic funds are already loaded into mid-caps which have had a very good run and are also adding to their portfolio taking advantage of the correction in the market. Our markets witnessed an above 40% straight rally after the new government got elected, from such a steep rise, it has to get re-adjusted before it takes off again and this readjustment will take a little more time. The way the charts are formed, the bullish sentiment is pretty strong. If the next round of bullish move has to be even stronger, like the experience we had in the 2003-2008 bull market, the markets have to consolidate and re-shuffle leadership.

happy-investorsLast year Automobile stocks had a great run supported by good earnings from the companies, while this year, they have a kind of taken back seat. Most of them have completed their dream runs. Now the leadership position is slowly getting shifted to Pharma and NBFC stocks. September quarter results were muted, the average sales growth has been around 1.50% while the earnings growth is at 7%, which shows that companies are cutting down costs to increase profits and this cannot continue for long. Soon, we will have sales numbers showing up.

This change in leadership is going to take some time to get aligned, maybe till the 3rd quarter results are out, in which there can be some positive surprises. Till that time, the markets will not turn bearish; it will consolidate at the present levels and then break out. The longer the consolidation, so much stronger will be the next rally, while in the consolidation period; it will kill the patience of anxious investors. For those who stay with patience, the next rally will be a bigger reward. The same happened in 2014, before the 45% rally we had between March 2014 and April 2015, the markets consolidated for a full long year staying within a 15% range in 2013.

With Money BagsPresently the consolidation is again at 15%, the more it gets stretched, and the chances of another 45% rally are higher. In such a scenario the SENSEX should be at 43500 and the NIFTY at 13150. At present these numbers look a little too over optimistic, while it was the same when there were talks of SENSEX to reach 30000, in early 2014, hard to believe, while it did happen. The SENSEX breached 30000 in March 2015.

As I complete this writing, I myself am getting euphoric, how throwing a little light on the hindsight has given a very beautiful picture to look at in the future. For those who have missed the 2014 opportunity, there is one more chance waiting to happen, take advantage and grow your savings faster.

6 out of 11 top earners in our portfolio

11 earningBoosters

The second quarter results are likely to be subdued and will impact the markets in the coming weeks as results get announced. The list published in ET on 9th October 2015 shows some companies that have the potential to outperform the current quarter on the growth front. Among the 11 companies that are listed above, our portfolio have 6 of them.

As we can see in the list of expected top performers, the highest concentration is from the Pharma sector followed by the NBFC sector. In our portfolio too, we have increased exposure towards Pharma and NBFC segments a couple of months back & this happened as a dynamic process.

In 2014 our portfolio had more exposure into Auto Ancillary companies, as months passed the stock price movement of these stocks began to slow down, showing signs of tiredness. About 2 weeks before the Volkswagen issue came to light, almost all of our Auto segment exposure began to take exit. When Volkswagen issue got reported and the market collapsed, where most of the ancillary companies having presence in Germany took a big hit, out portfolio sustained lower damage. Just about that time the₹15000 Crores,  Amtek Auto default got reported, which shook the debt Mutual Fund market where JP Morgan fund had big exposure and they had to split the fund and bring controls on redemption. There are many PSU Banks which are likely to take a hit from this default.

Following our exits, the overall exposure in stocks got reduced to 75% of the capital, thus protecting the portfolio from the negative bias the markets had prior to RBI policy announcement reducing interest rates.

RBI decision came as a surprise, which Raguram Rajan has made us accustomed to since September 2013. Markets began to rally; mostly short covering, took the market to higher ups, while the strength seems to be waning now as the expectations from result season is tepid. Following results announcement, if there is going to be any weakness; our portfolio has got fairly protected due to our lower exposure and having investments into companies that are likely to give out good results. While the market began to gain strength, a couple of new stocks like BEML, Deep Industries, India Bulls housing have got added to our portfolio.

As the result season unfolds, there would be more clarity about which companies have greater strength in performance and those companies will automatically get added to our portfolio, from where, we will be prepared for our next big journey in the market rally. Being invested into the best businesses gives great confidence about the performance. In the last 3 years since we have been tracking the portfolio performance, we have achieved 68.50% gains, whereas in the same period the SENSEX has grown 38%. We have managed to achieve twice the return provided by the benchmark.

 

August month performance….

The Stock markets for the month of August 2014 had a small rally, witnessed 3% gains. Technology took a back seat, while Pharma companies showed strength along with industrial Engineering companies showed strength.

Our portfolio was strong and has managed to achieve 6.00% gains for the month of August. This was possible because of investments made into stocks like Eicher Motors – a company that has been consistently growing above 50% since 2009. Aurobindo Pharma – a company that has moved into the international indices and has attracted global attention. Ceat Tyres – a company that has benefited from the falling rubber prices and crude oil prices.

Though the broad market has slowed down a little in growth, the mid-caps and small caps are having a lot of potential to be explored and achieved. India is now a growth story, a potential for tremendous gains that will be there for the  coming decade. Being in India, we should not miss this wonderful growth opportunity.

On 11th September 2014, our fund emerged as the top performing fund in the Diversified Equity Funds category in India.

This was not accredited, but tracked among all the funds operational in India.

Following is the track sheet that confirms the performance.

BTT-goes-No1