The broader market continues to do badly with just five stocks — Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries and ITC — having between them contributed over 80% of the Nifty’s gains of 940 points in 2018. Over 70% of all stocks with a market capitalisation of at least Rs 1,000 crore are down since January. Moreover, over a third of these 792 stocks have lost more than 20% of their value. On Thursday, the Nifty50 gained 20.70 points or 0.18% to end the session at a record high of 11,470.70 points. The rally this year has been driven by purchases of local funds that have bought stocks worth nearly $10 billion; foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have sold shares worth $260.4 million.
Despite the spectacular rally in the benchmarks, India’s market capitalisation in dollar terms has fallen by about 5% to $2.26 trillion. The Chinese market has seen a bigger erosion in its market capitalisation of nearly 23%. Among the top 10 equity markets by market capitalisation, only the US and France have yielded positive returns so far in 2018.
India remains among the most expensive markets in the world. At 38,024.37, the benchmark Sensex trades at a price-earnings(PE) multiple of 18.8 times to the estimated one-year forward earnings, a premium of 16.7% to the long-term average PE of 16.09 times. This compares with 8.7 times for the Kospi and 14.5 for the Jakarta Composite. Brazil’s Bovespa and the Shanghai Composite are trading at a price-earnings multiple of 10.7 and 10.3, respectively, data from Bloomberg show.
The benchmarks have rallied to new highs despite FPIs having sold stocks worth $2.4 billion between April and June. FPIs turned buyers in July with a purchase of $207.92 million and have bought shares worth $153.2 million so far in August. Another set of stocks, both in the Nifty 50, that have been stellar performers are Bajaj Finance, which has gained 61.1% since January, and Bajaj Finserv, which has put on 35.3%.
Among large-caps, Bajaj Finance is the best-performing stock in 2018 so far, followed by TCS with 46.2% and Bajaj Finserv. The top 10 companies with the highest market capitalisation, which together account for over 27% of the total BSE market cap, have gained close to 24% since the beginning of 2018, resulting in a 2.6% gain in overall market valuation of all listed companies on the BSE.