Nifty may rally 22% by April to hit 22000, Sensex seen at 65000; Sanjiv Bhasin bullish on ICICI Bank, HCL Tech

BSE Sensex is likely to reclaim its previous high of 62,000 and Nifty 50 may rise to 18,400 ahead of the Union Budget 2022

Union Budget 2022, Nifty, Sensex, stock market
Amid COVID booster shots and antiviral drugs developments, Bhasin believes that pharma stocks may deliver good quarter results

BSE Sensex is likely to reclaim its previous high of 62,000 and Nifty 50 may rise to 18,400 ahead of the Union Budget 2022, said Sanjiv Bhasin, Director, IIFL Securities, in an interview with Surbhi Jain of Financial Express Online. Bhasin also expects Nifty to rally 22 per cent from current levels to a new all-time high of 22000 by April 2022. He sees an upside of over 7 per cent in BSE Sensex, and expects it to hit 65000 by early May this year on higher earnings. Moreover, amid COVID booster shots and antiviral drugs developments, Bhasin believes that pharma stocks may deliver good quarter results and suggests investors to stay partially invested in pharmaceutical stocks. Here are the edited excerpts.

1. Where do you see BSE Sensex, Nifty 50 ahead of Union Budget 2022, assembly polls, and amid rising COVID-19 cases?
BSE Sensex can hit the previous high of 62000 with Nifty to attempt 18400 before the budget. My target for April-end would be higher as earnings will surprise on the upside and with the ‘Omicron’ cases falling, expect Nifty at 22000 by early May and Sensex at 65000.

2. What do you suggest retail investors should buy and sell? Could you name a few stocks that may gain in the near term?
Keep your SIP going as timing the markets will be impossible in a bull market. Anybody who has tried to time entry in the last two years, has lost the best rally in over 5 years. Sectors such as banks, construction and reality are going to lead, followed by IT and pharma. Stocks of ICICI Bank, IDFC First Bank, L&T, Godrej Properties, and HCL Technologies, may gain in the near-term.

3. With so much developments on COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots and antiviral drugs, is it time to hold pharma stocks?
Stay partially invested in pharma stocks as the best part of earnings may be behind us. The top stock picks are Cipla, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories with Lupin a dark horse.

4. What are your underweight and overweight sectors? Which stocks do you think have potential to offer decent returns in near-term?
The underweight sector would be consumer staples and the overweight would be infrastructure spending stocks. Dark Horse stocks are NBCC (India), NLC India, and Union Bank of India.

5. Do you believe the IPO rush of 2021 will continue in 2022 as well? Which ones should investors look for?
Yes, the IPO rush may continue this year as well as PE funding is now reaping the benefits of new age technology in digital and fintech. LIC India will set the ball rolling for the PSU side, investors must own this.

6. What will be the key drivers of equity markets in 2022?
The key drivers of equity markets in 2022 will be growth, earnings, and the power of the retail SIP, which has hit Rs 11,000 crore per month and has mitigated the over influence of foreign investors.

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