Reliance Industries among Barclays’ top 133 stock picks for 2015

By: | Published: December 8, 2014 8:04 PM

Reliance Industries, TCS and Bharti Airtel are among the six Indian firms that figure in Barclays' top 133 stock picks from...

RIL was the only stock pick in energy segment in Asia. (PTI)Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries was the only stock pick in energy segment in Asia. (PTI)

Reliance Industries, TCS and Bharti Airtel are among the six Indian firms that figure in Barclays’ top 133 stock picks from across the world for 2015.

Other Indian firms in the list include HDFC Bank, homegrown pharma major Lupin and Voltas.

In its report ‘Global Top Picks’, Barclays expects the current bull market in global equities to continue, generating a total return of 9 per cent in 2015.

RIL was the only stock pick in energy segment in Asia, while Bharti and Lupin were the only ones in telecommunication and healthcare segments.

HDFC Bank shared space with China Cinda Asset Management Co, China Life and China Resources while TCS had Lenovo, LG, Media Tek and Largan Precision for company under technology head.

Barclays’ global picks included 54 US stocks, 40 from Europe and Middle East, 23 from Asia (excluding Japan) and 16 from Japan.

Predicting nearly doubling of earnings per share (EPS) and return on capital employed (ROCE) for RIL by 2021, it said the catalysts for growth should fall into place in the next 6 to 12 months as the company completes its USD 16 billion refining and petrochemical projects and launches its USD 12 billion telecom project.

“A rebound in domestic (oil and gas) exploration and production (E&P) may help too should the government reassess its gas price decision,” it said, adding, “the macro environment appears supportive as well with downstream margins rising despite lower oil prices.”

It expects RIL to launch its telecom venture by early 2015, the first module of its pet-coke gasification project (one of its two key downstream projects) in September 2015 and the new refinery off-gas based olefin cracker by March 2016.

On HDFC Bank, Barclays said the bank “remains well positioned to benefit from a macro recovery owing to its strong deposit franchise, clean balance sheet and increased investment spending.”

Retail growth has been broad-based across key segments (personal loans, credit cards), and about 80 per cent of its fees are retail-related (which is best-in-class), it said, adding that HDFC Bank had little exposure to project finance, an area of system-wide stress.

On Tata Consultancy Services, Barclays said the company is likely to outpace industry growth led by strength in large deal wins and continued efforts in account mining.

While TCS is well positioned to benefit from high-growth Infrastructure Management Services (IMS) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) space, the company management is also focusing on increasing presence in digital technologies – a key emerging area in the IT services space, it said.

Bharti Airtel, it said, is likely to be the biggest beneficiary of constructive, competitive and regulatory dynamics in the Indian telecom sector.

Barclays expects Lupin to deliver among highest revenue and earnings compounded annual growth rates and consolidate its position as one of the top generics firms in the US.

It expects a cyclical rebound in earnings for Voltas from recovery in project segment margins as low-margin orders are completed and high-margin orders commence apart from continued strength in the cooling product business aided by market share gains.

“At the start of 2014, investors were concerned about how risk assets would adjust to less accommodative central bank policies across the world, and Fed policy withdrawal in particular.

“Defying expectations, asset prices moved in opposite direction to the consensus view: fixed income rallied and US equities outperformed,” Barclays said in the report.

Weak growth outside the US, low oil prices and deflationary pressures should allow for easy monetary policy to continue in Europe and Japan, it added.

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