Morgan Stanley’s Jonathan Garner is bullish on India, but points out this risk

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Published: June 28, 2018 9:30:21 AM

Even as we continue to see major developments in the emerging markets, with a few of them facing high currency risks, Jonathan Garner of Morgan Stanley says that Asia EM equity strategists have been bearish on the markets.

Jonathan Garner pointed out that he is overweight on India, but rising crude oil prices are a major risk.

Even as we continue to see major developments in the emerging markets, with a few of them facing high currency risks, Jonathan Garner of Morgan Stanley says that Asia EM equity strategists have been bearish on the markets.  Jonathan Garner, chief strategist for Asia and emerging markets at Morgan Stanley noted that there is similar downside for MSCI China and MSCI EM (emerging markets). In an interview to ET Now, Garner pointed out that he is overweight on India, but rising crude oil prices are a major risk. He also said that Morgan Stanley has raised Australia to equal-weight from underweight.

With respect to India, he said recently that considering that the crude oil prices may actually come back as a headwind in 2019, Morgan Stanley would be would be very cautious about strategically re-engaging here. Speaking about valuation in India, he noted, “India typically trades at a premium to other markets in Asia because it has high return on equity. That premium is at a fairly normal level. It is about 30% valuation premium to Asia overall.”

According to the expert, if oil prices go up it will be a drag on performance for Asian markets. “The tightening of policy in China and the US is still ongoing and then we had trade protectionism as an additional risk factor,” he said in a recent interview to the channel.  

Speaking about the exact position on India in the portfolio, he said that the house is about 200 bps overweight  in India, which is at the low end of the historical range. “So, why have they disengaged somewhat from being so heavily weighted? That has to do mainly with the depressed earnings cycle here. Even last year, when earnings in emerging markets were broadly up almost 30% year-on-year, India missed out. It is a complex story as to why that happened in India but it has got quite a bit to do with a much needed fiscal adjustment, the brought down inflation,” he explained to the channel.

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