October 11, 2022

 “I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.” – Warren Buffett


RBI continued the momentum it started in May 2022 and raised its repo rates by another 50 basis points to 5.9%. Prior to RBI, US federal bank had increased its policy rates to 3.25%. Since March it has increased its policy rates by 3% while RBI raised by 1.9% during the same period.


Usually the primary reason for raising repo rates is to control inflation by reducing money supply in the economy. Inflation that had remained below 2% for almost over a decade in USA, suddenly started rising in 2021 and reached 9.1 in early 2022. For India also inflation reached 7.79 in April 2022 before offering some relief. For August it was 7% for India whereas US recorded 8.3%. For UK and other developed economies this figure is more disturbing.


For many countries other than US, another worry is falling values of their currencies against US dollar. With respect to exchange rates, a dollar’s cost in March was around 75 rupees compared to 81.8 today. During same period Euro one of the strongest currency fell from .91 euro to a dollar to 1.02 per dollar, British pound fell from 1.3 dollar per GBP to 1.11 dollar per GBP, Japanese yen another major currency fell  from 123 yen per dollar to 145 yen per dollar.  


Third worry for global economies is fear of recession. Covid restrictions and resultant supply disruption has changed the consumption pattern and belief for many. Geo-political tensions have also affected supply chain of many goods. Result is – people have started managing with whatever is available. Such phenomenons, if it takes bigger shape then all export oriented economies are bound to suffer and may go into recession.


These Fears & Indian Economy – like all other countries, India too have experienced higher inflation which is beyond the tolerance level of 6% of the central bank. Rupee value has also fallen vis-à-vis US dollar. But on both counts India is much better placed then all other economies. Not only this, India’s economy is still the fastest growing economy in the world. Also it is very important to note that Indian economy is an import oriented economy and government has taken many steps to increase exports and reduce imports.


 It’s tax collection are at record high. Industrial Capacity utilization and credit off-take have been rising. Companies’ earnings are also increasing. Government’s all out push on infrastructure development through Gati Shakti, Bharatmala, Sagarmala projects and rationalization of regulations, push for e-economy etc. has pushed its ranking much higher in terms of ‘Ease of doing business’. Digitalization and introduction of 5G will take Indian economy into a different zone of growth. All these things have helped India emerged as a strong contender for attracting FDI for China + one policy.


On technical side with respect to stock markets – a 1% movement or even more on either side have become a new norm now-a-days. To evaluate the present markets we need to consider more parameters than just the value of Nifty or Sensex. Nifty’s P/E which was 42 on 8 February 2021 when its value was 15115 has come down to 20.6 on 30 Sep 2022 while nifty’s value rose to 17094. It’s dividend yield has also risen from 1.06 to 1.35 for the same period. Though market cap to GDP ratio, currently around 92 says markets are modestly overvalued.


Raising interest rate does help control inflation but is not the only solution to curb it. Also it increases the cost of borrowings, which further contribute to increase in input prices resulting in higher inflation. This will dampen demand and hamper growth for many economies which may further lead to recession. We are already hearing a lot about world moving into recession. So at some point all central banks and the governments will have to relook at the interest rates and work out different strategies to curb inflation. We at InvestmentMitra feel that this moment should come anytime around March next year.


Escalation in Russia-Ukraine war has indirectly caused supply disruption for many goods. Especially European countries are worst affected by this. In our earlier write ups we have stated that it will change the map of the world and Russia has done that by annexing some parts of Ukraine to its territory. US & Europe however strong they may be in terms of warfare but cannot afford direct conflict with Russia as that will result in nuclear war. Many European leaders are working on bringing the two countries on discussion table and stop the war.


This war may settle down before the end of this financial year but has raised another apprehension of Chinese misadventures over Taiwan. Though USA has already worked out plans to thwart any Chinese aggression over Taiwan, but what happens if it actually takes place will be very important. So it will be crucial to observe at least a year once the Russia-Ukraine war settles down to understand the new geo-political situation and its impact on world economy.


What is there for investors now – All worries apart, one thing is sure that whatever the phase the world economy will be, India will be much better placed than most developed and developing countries. So take advantage of dips in stock markets to increase your equity exposure. And those who build portfolios around debt should complete at least 90% of their investments in good quality corporate and government bonds by December.


And as the heroes in many popular bollywood movies say, ‘Never underestimate the power of common man’, so should you, “Never underestimate the power of SIP into mutual funds.” It can help you build a handsome wealth over a period of time and also reward your loyal servants towards the fag end of their life when they need your generosity the most. Call us to know more how you can help the people who serve you.


Your InvestmentMitra wishes you a very Happy Festival Investing this season and always!


Team InvestmentMitra

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