Excitement on cyclical stocks faces stern reality test
Banks, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, have issued reports arguing that cyclicals will help Indian indices hit record highs this year after shares such as Hero MotoCorp underperformed the index in 2012. But many fund managers are sceptical.
Despite a strong start to the earnings season, upcoming results for companies geared to the domestic economic cycle, such as top carmaker Maruti Suzuki, are likely to be uneven.
“I don't share the excitement about the economic growth or the investment situation in the country,” said Walter Rossini, a Milan-based fund manager at Gestielle India, which manages $200 million of Indian shares.
“There has been no real action (large new investments) so far in sectors like power, energy and roads. I don’t see a market-wide trend in earnings,” he said, adding he was looking to book profits in shares.
The BSE Sensex has gained 3.1% this year after surging 25.7% in 2012.
Optimism is based on expectations that anticipated interest rate cuts will revive an ailing economy, as well as cheap valuations. Cyclical stocks, including Tata Motors, are among the cheapest in the BSE's 30 constituents, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data.
Tata Motors is trading at 7.2 times forward fiscal 2014 earnings versus around 14 for the broader BSE index.
Sturdy results from software services exporters, such as Infosys, dependant on the global economy, have bolstered sentiment.
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