Equities to give below 10% return: CLSA

Written by Reuters | Mumbai, June 30: | Updated: Jun 30 2008, 19:11pm hrs
India's key stock index, which has fallen a third so far in 2008, could provide a return of less than 10 per cent over the next 12 months, brokerage CLSA said on Monday, citing a majority of fund managers in a poll.

But it said 31 per cent of the participants in the poll expected a further downside in the benchmark index as rising commodity prices and higher interest rates hurt growth in Asia's third largest economy.

"India dedicated funds and mid-sized funds are relatively bearish," CLSA said, adding 57 per cent of non-India dedicated funds were underweight on the Indian market.

The 30-share BSE index was trading down 2 per cent at 13,518.48 by 0932 GMT, on course to register its second quarterly fall in a row. The benchmark had gained 47 per cent in 2007.

More than 95 per cent of the respondents forecast Indian GDP growth in the fiscal year to March 2009 would moderate to below 8 per cent, with nearly half of them saw the expansion slowing to less than 7 per cent, CLSA said.

India's economy grew 9 per cent in 2007/08 and has expanded by an average 8.8 per cent over the past five years.

Half the participants from non-India dedicated funds expected India to call for early national elections, CLSA said.

The communist allies of India's minority ruling coalition government, whose term ends in May next year, have threatened to withdraw their support if the government forged ahead with a controversial civilian nuclear deal with the United States.

CLSA said fund managers in the poll forecast shares in export-led software, consumer and pharmaceuticals to outperform. Property, automobiles and financials are expected to underperform as rising interest costs crimp consumer spending, it said.