Despite Samvat 2073 starting off with demonetisation shock, Sensex gains 16 pct, Nifty nearly 18 pct

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Mumbai | Published: October 16, 2017 5:35:18 AM

The year also saw metals, NBFCs and realty companies becoming the darlings of investors as they bet on factors ranging from falling interest rates to revival in commodity prices.

Although Samvat 2073 began with a demonetisation shock, the benchmark Sensex sparkled with 16% gain during the year — nearly double the gain it registered in Samvat 2072. In this period, the Nifty50 rallied nearly 18%.

Although Samvat 2073 began with a demonetisation shock, the benchmark Sensex sparkled with 16% gain during the year — nearly double the gain it registered in Samvat 2072. In this period, the Nifty50 rallied nearly 18%. With the fifty-stock index soaring to record highs yet again on Friday, the valuation of Indian equities have peaked further. At a lifetime high of 10,167.45, the benchmark Nifty trades at a price-to-earnings multiple of 18 times estimated one year forward earnings. Though the implementation of GST caused supply chain disruption in many sectors, the second consecutive good monsoon led the consumer durable stocks to a new high with the BSE Consumer Durables Index gaining as much as 41.7%. BSE Metal Index followed suit with 39.8% gain.

The year also saw metals, NBFCs and realty companies becoming the darlings of investors as they bet on factors ranging from falling interest rates to revival in commodity prices. The rally in metal stocks was led by Jindal Steel & Power, which saw its share price more than double during the year. Other metal shares that shined brighter include Hindalco Industries (up 78%), Tata Steel (75.6%) and Vedanta (58.8%). While the shares of Bajaj Finance rallied 81%, Indiabulls Real Estate soared over two-fold. Godrej Properties and Sobha gained 74% and 63.5%, respectively.

Market participants believe global commodity prices reflation will continue to benefit the earnings of metal players in FY18 as well. The year also saw the benchmark Brent hitting an over two-year high due to supply disruptions and solid global demand. It also witnessed the resurgence of primary market with 27 new firms making a debut on the Dalal Street, with General Insurance Corporation raising Rs 11,372 crore — the third-biggest IPO ever. A total of Rs 43,894 crore was raised during the year. Avenue Supermart which made a stellar debut in mid-March has rallied over four-fold since its listing. Interestingly, Samvat 2073 saw FPI inflows into the country at its lowest — $946 million — in the last six years. The pace of purchase by domestic institutional investors intensified during the period that cushioned the market against selling by foreign investors. Domestic investors pumped Rs 95,600 crore or about $14.6 billion — over 15 times the overseas purchase. Foreign brokerage CLSA observes overseas flows to Indian market will remain weak as other cheap markets such as Korea, China and Taiwan are seeing positive earnings revision, while Indian estimates keep getting downgraded.

“Earnings upgrade possibility for Indian companies doesn’t appear likely in the near term and hence foreign flows may remain weak,” the brokerage said. When it comes to the laggards, the BSE Healthcare index led the way — losing 14.7% — with the sector witnessing stringent price erosion due to higher competition from increasing FDA approvals, growing channel consolidation and increasing approvals of new entrants. Shares of Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy’s Lab, Lupin, Divi’s Laboratories and Glenmark Pharma lost in the range of 29% to 36% of their value during the period. “Lack of earnings visibility in the near term, coupled with moderation in macros, amid rich valuation crimps any material upside for the market in the near term,” said Yogesh Mehta, VP-Retail Research at Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

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