Since June 2018, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies surged by Rs 3.6 lakh crore to Rs 148.62 lakh crore.
Even as the Sensex has reclaimed the psychological 38,000 level after a gap of six months, the latest rally in the benchmark index has not translated into significant returns for most equity investors. This is because, gains in the market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies were largely driven by two bellwether stocks.
Since June 2018, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies surged by Rs 3.6 lakh crore to Rs 148.62 lakh crore. Of which, Reliance Industries (RIL) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) together contributed about 78% of the market cap gains in the past nine months.
In fact, RIL, which commands the highest weightage after HDFC Bank on the Nifty basket of stocks, has contributed nearly two-thirds of the market cap gains since June 2018. While the market value of the country’s largest company swelled by Rs 2.2 lakh crore, TCS has seen an increase of `58,347 crore in its market valuation.
The broader market continues to do badly with just six stocks – RIL, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Axis Bank and Infosys – having among them contributed over 60% of the Nifty’s gains of 1,397 points from its October lows. The index has gained close to 14% from its October low of 10,030 points. While shares of Axis Bank advanced 36.7% since October 26, the stock of RIL and ICICI Bank surged by 26.5% and 25.2%, respectively.
Interestingly, close to 70% of all stocks with a market capitalisation of at least Rs 1,000 crore are down in the last one year. Moreover, over a third of these 735 stocks have lost more than 20% of their value.
On Friday, the Nifty50 gained for the fifth day to close the session at 11,426.85 points, up 83.60 points, or 0.74%, whereas the Sensex closed 269.43 points, or 0.71%, higher at 38,024.32 points.
The rally this year has been driven by purchases of overseas investors that have bought stocks worth nearly $5.4 billion, a big swing from last year’s outflows of $4.2 billion. On the other hand, between January and now, the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth $124 million, Bloomberg data showed.
With the strong inflow of foreign funds and benign oil prices, the rupee has gained nearly 5% against the US dollar in the last six months. The local currency rose to over seven-month high of 69.10 on Friday.
India remains among the most expensive markets in the world. At 38,024.32, the benchmark Sensex trades at a price-earnings(PE) multiple of 18.5 times to the estimated one-year forward earnings, a premium of 11.4% to the long-term average PE of 16.6 times.
This compares with 10.6 times for the Kospi and 15.2 for the Jakarta Composite. Brazil’s Bovespa and the Shanghai Composite are trading at a price-earnings multiple of 12.02 and 10.7, respectively, data from Bloomberg show.