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.