JD Logistics shares climb 14% on Hong Kong debut


Traders grieving as Indian markets continue to climb

(Bloomberg) – As Covid-19 continues to ravage India, finance professionals across the country grapple with an increasingly surreal disconnect between the devastation of the epidemic and a record boom in the markets local. Raised the official Covid death toll to over 315,000 – a figure that experts say is likely a significant undercount.And yet investors continue to grab Indian assets, fueling a rally of 65% of the Nifty 50 index over the past 12 months. outperformed all other major benchmarks in the world. The measure’s skyrocketing to an all-time high on Thursday coincided with the fastest rate of Indian initial public offerings since 2017 and an unprecedented flood of foreign currency bond issues by local firms. India, nowhere else, has the contrast been so extreme. Bulls say the gains are justified by central bank stimulus at home and abroad, along with signs that the wave virus current could peak and optimism that India’s long-term economic growth potential will emerge with the crisis intact. Skeptics point to overly optimistic income estimates and the risk of further outbreaks in a country where vaccination rates remain stubbornly low. India’s central bank weighed in on Thursday, warning in its annual report that the surge in stocks “poses a bubble risk.” What is clear is that financiers on all sides of the debate are exhausted. Booming markets have left the industry swamped with work at a time when many employees have been sickened by the virus. Some have had to desperately seek medical help after hospitals overflow and oxygen shortages. Almost everyone has at least one friend or family member who has passed away. “You feel numb, like we are in the middle of a war and losing people one after another,” said Vikaas Sachdeva, Mumbai-based managing director. from Emkay Investment Managers Ltd., which has lost four members of its extended family to the virus. Sachdeva expects Indian markets to be volatile in the near term as investors assess the uncertainties surrounding the vaccination program and the possibility of a third wave. His firm bought shares of Indian companies with “high quality” management, betting that the country’s long-term investment record remains intact. India’s $ 2.9 trillion stock market was supported in part by resilient demand from international investors, who bought a net $ 34.9 billion in stocks in the past 12 months. Although they reduced their holdings in April and early May, the purchase by local mutual funds and insurance companies helped fill the void. A steady decline in reported Covid cases since mid-May – along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to avoid another nationwide lockdown – have added weight to calls for further market gains. $ 4 billion through public offerings since the start of the year, on track for the busiest first half since 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Said Sunil Khaitan, India’s head of global financial markets at Bank of America. “Tech companies are advancing their fundraising plans and financial sponsors also believe now is the right time to attract public market investors to these companies amid plentiful global liquidity.” Khaitan expects IPO volumes in India to double in 2021 compared to the previous year. The boom in business has left some financial companies scrambling to strike deals after employees were sidelined by the virus. The head of the stock markets of a Mumbai-based investment bank, who asked not to be named to discuss private matters, said that at one point 25% of his group of 40 had been infected . has died since the start of the pandemic, the industry’s largest union estimated this month. Among the biggest risks for optimists in the Indian market is another wave of viruses. According to Bloomberg’s Covid-19 Tracker, only 3.2% of the population has been fully vaccinated, compared to 39.7% in the United States and 10.1% in Brazil.The recovery of the Indian economy after the recession of last year is already showing signs of stuttering. India lost 10 million jobs in May, according to private research firm Center for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. Of the 40 companies in the Nifty 50 index that have released quarterly results so far, more than half have missed analysts’ estimates. While India’s central bank expects the economy to grow at a rate of 10.5% this fiscal year, other forecasters, including S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service, recently lowered their estimates to less than 10%. continues to emerge, so there is a short-term problem, ”said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities Ltd. Sachdeva, the CEO of Emkay, said Covid will impact him and his colleagues in a way that goes far beyond their work in finance. It reads “The Difficulty of Being Good” by Gurcharan Das, who writes about his search for a meaningful life. “The pandemic has caused a change in many of us and we are more aware of the things that matter most in life,” Sachdeva mentioned. “However, we’ll have to see if this is a permanent change when life returns to normal.” More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted source of business information. © 2021 Bloomberg LP

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