India Morning Report: IDFC gets a bank license, India goes to Polls, Sun buys Ranbaxy for $4B

Though the trend is no longer on the up and up, BS revealing that IT and Pharma earnings have reached 20% of India Inc scorecards in 2013, doubling in 3 years on the depreciation dragon that caused a 14% run on the rupee just in the December Quarter. Meanwhile the Rupee is ratcheting back to 55 levels. According to RGR, the threatening levels of the Rupee appreciation start near 55 where it is overvalued to even 50. Remittances from the Middle East are flowing in mercilessly , leveraged by 5% loans in dubai and Abu dhabi as NRIs continue to fuel the investment boom’s precursors almost like any other Fed stimulus (QE)

However, as traders picks have shown in the week gone by, almost all shorts have been closed out and a further upmove for stoicks is not ruled out from here even as PSU banks and leveraged realty stocks like DLF remain outside the reach of good news and hence hold back most of the trading capital. As mentioned on Friday, March closed with $3 Bln inflows and almost two thirds is in Debt. A modi rally pre elections is scored in at 7000 as he steps closer to an absolute majority but it may prove over ambitious even for the NaMo juggernaut and markets may accede to pleas for a reaction this week before or after 6800 instead of hitting 7000 before counting closes on May 12. Assam and other NE states go to polls today

Bank Nifty has done creditably in this rally at 12550, without flatulent acccession by PSU stocks that have tripled NPAs ionthe Banking system adding INR 65 Bln NPLs to INR 3 T in Gross NPAs this quarter. Apparently metals continued advancing last week on news of a Vedanta upgrade to stable by Moodys, finally a piece of good news for the merged Sesa Sterlite and the acquired Hindustan Zinc

Arun Shourie and Arun Jaitley made the customary election time appearances for the party and are unlikely to be part of the governance framework in a Modi government that  has also sidelined MM Joshi, Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh ( standing as independent from Barmer)  and son, even as LK Advani made a reasonable comeback on Modi’s behalf on the weekend as Modi asks for a personal vote for PM in the final stage. Sonia and Rahul also continue through a tough election schedule, made grueling more by continuous adds in Election surveys and a virtual estoppel on government business

IDFC’s bank license is indeed welcome for the strong business model of the company but as it starts running up to a grueling 18 month schedule to conform to all guidelines required for executing its license, most investors will be watching at current levels as a plan for reducing FII stakes to 49% is also confirmed within the new NOHFC structure for the bank. Bandhan was the other licensee. Most NBFCs in the fray including L&T finance which fully well knew the limitations a year ago, led the mid week breakdown as the RBI points to existing NBFCs and corporates to explore a differentiated licensing model. Policy day macroeconomic report for the quarter showed a limited recovery underlining the unlikelihood of any further improvements in RBI stance as recovery remains limited to fringes of the economy and a panic over the incoming government’s reform stance slowly takes hold during the crucial polling month

The mega deal announcement by Sun Pharma, taking it off its Japanese buyers for $4 Bln is still being digested by the market as the ramifications are mostly negative for Sun Pharma unless the game plan from the group is cogent and quick acting

Yes Bank is still a buy at 423 levels. Market indices are likely to continue adding straddles in the 6500+ ranges this week, unlikely to allow a sharp correction except for other news.



India Morning Report: IPL gotchas, as India markets work to stay in at 6600

Gavaskar will probably take over as BCCI chief for the IPL 7 “bat-arounds”(Whack-a-mole) as CSK and Rajasthan Royals shutdown could see sentiment spillover to cash equities and a 30 edition IPL in the UAE as suggested by the Supreme Court a body blow to the sport. India Inc in the meantime continues to enjoy a brief respite from discussions of continued troubles for India as investors return to one of the world’s deepest markets, markets staying the course now at 6600 levels, keeping gains and sentiment firmly taking out 6500 straddles to new bulls at likely 7000 levels in at least tail risk hedges for bears who would be indeed not averse to a sentiment turnaround from these levels.

The SC action is a desired one as any other sport league worldwide like NFL has gone thru similar phases and thier popular nature is likely to transcend their unlisted nature and submit enough relevance to market flows as well, challenging other news flows like the general elections.

In the more likely scenario, markets will however cross into 6800 levels with relative ease, making complex F&O strategies a non starter except for those ready to bear additional transaction costs in unwinding such strategies, selling 6600 puts now however not a guaranteed profit transaction and thus likely to entice those willing to go with a proposed “done and done” rally trend, an exercise usually made unlikely in deep markets by the presence of more balanced pushes and pulls, especially in this segment for Indian markets determined by market inflows, predominantly FII inflows which continue to signal a better placement of India vis a vis other Asian and Emerging Markets as investors exit Korea and China portfolios after a vain 4 year wait for a global turnaround in sentiment 

Most of us commentators would indeed continue to prefer a single post election 2014 rally than a continued token into election weeks from April 7 and 17 right till counting day on May 09


India Morning Report: Portfolio investment highs let India story dominate

Investment percent gdp
Investment percent gdp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As investment flows confirm net positive investments in India on a regular daily basis, making the total for March closer to $3 Bln or close to $150 mln per day (INR 900 Crores) , India and Indonesia keep hopes alive for Global equities and EEM flows remain negative with exits from China, Japan and Korea closing out on any hope for recovery in North Asia with China remaining dull and Japans deficit imports coming at the cost of lower Exports being kept on deficit mirroring the phase of growth investments without concurrent investing flows.


6590 levels obviously proved daunting for India Inc and markets returned the gains out of the morning trades after a buoyant day for equities all around, looking for new levels not belying the sad events of 2012 for Corporate India Markets stay away from Banks as markets had a big open on Monday and new levels in private sector banks seem to wait for PSU banks that continue to be neglected for their larger than life NPA sores and aches.


Reasons for cheering the performance of Auto and metals however still seem t o be further ahea d on the road to recovery and have hardly earned their stripes. Bank License hopefuls that still include the Aditya Birla Group and a couple of other corporate houses are probably caught unaware by the extra scrutiny imposed by the Poll panel ahead of a new government in steed at the Center. RBI has enough reason to deny corporate houses a chance to play with the banking system but it may be difficult to deny claims of available NBFC models like Aditya Birla Money ( Diversified Financial Services ) AND M&M Financial Services ( Retail unsecured/Auto Lending ) after satisfying the NOHFC structure requirements, giving the CEntral Bank a tytough decision as it probably wants to hand over no more than 4-5 new opportunities

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India Morning Report: Nifty futures still above 6500

Infy is available at 3350 in case you are looking at gaps in your portfolio. The twin shock to Sun Pharms from the US FDA however, broke the proverbial Camel’s back, big sharp falls in both together taking ou t the bulls hopes ( as i n fact the bulls ar e in no particular hurry) Probably from the stock specificness of the new rally in both the Dow and the India Nifty, above old highs and resilient to most investor breakdowns a fair smattering of geo political uncertainty laying the groundwork for such tests of both indices in the last few weeks, that now the indices are called by a set of unrelated stocks, not part of any index necessarily and sector led predictions still valid independently as also to  a certain extent stock specific upsides.

Downsides and new buying levels are likely restricted to the bad news dozen, currently the set including just Sun Pharma, Infy, Maruti , L&T, even Hero and a couple of the last week’s  weak entrees like Tech Mahindra which would also put traders in a likely soup.  shorts do continue in infy but one wonders if anything more than 3200-50 levels on the low side are possible. It is probably also a reaction to unrly traders looking for a fllight to quality indepeendent traditional favorites losing a lot of times in this rally with the short traders

HDFC, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank for example continue to nestle new levels and find no dearth of long investors. SBI could have more traders like me waiting to pounce on the fresh chance for shorts to below 1300 as its NPLs are not done. Bharti like others has been able to raise quick debt this week and IDFC with the Power NBFCs remain a good story , fresh longs waiting for the couple of bad ones to play out as they are pure trades on fundamentally strong ideas and potentially unlimited longs would not change their current levels ( unlimited institutional appetite ) unless the trade wanted a clear push and will likely compelete to 128-130 levels

Fixed Income Markets will likely find a day between today and Tuesday to factor in a little more good news of the CPI and IIP scores before responding to policy day’s volatile hopes with a strong top in rates under 9% as rate cuts are  ruled out. The MCX and NSEL slugfest continues in the background, as decorous solutions to the problem seem to leave some unsatisfied yet. FTIL and MCX promoter shareholding has been redenominated as Public and a rights issue is in the offing, the book building sentiment showing in these parrying moves. A deal to sell down that holding of FTIL and MCX is still a long way to go

The Astrazeneca delisting seems to have finally seen the right levels for the stock as the last rally in listed shares starts , heightened hopes marked by FIIs holding a big block of 15% in the stock. ITC seems to be a t the top of the range and a trade from 342 to 325 levels is likely. Despite today’s defensive buys investors should avoid Titan, ttk or Jubilant Foods or even aviation picks like Jet Airways. Bharti on the other hand will see buying at thhese levels of 300 itself and not recede much beyond 290 levels at worst

The market rally will likely continue if not this afternoon then on Monday afternoon with buys firmly holding on, with better than any other rally’s chances of retaining permanent levels as the market bottom has definitely moved up to an even 50900 – 6000 ruling out further cuts int he select stocks that have created and added fresh demand in this rally, markets having carefully shucked out PSU banks, construction and other leveraged plays with no fundamental performance locks on them. The Rupee can move back from the Friday’s 61.50 levels almost immediately

Crompton Greaves turns out to be headed for the chopping block, a potential sale likely to bring in a good uncertainty for investors in the stock. PE investors like Blackrock who is strong on issuing debt to promoters trying to tide over the bad economy are already providing fresh debt to the Avantha team

In other Unlisted business, we are a little fogged as we cannot determine what happened to the FIPB meeting on March 6, to discuss Braun and Destimoney among others. The sensitive handling of the Election Code issues had clearly seen there would be no controversy regarding this meeting despite impending elections

Commodity investors (HNWI) are unlikely to be able to return to longs with the slump in that sector heightened after a half hearted attempt by gold and Oil early this year.

Investors should continue to pile into longs in their choiceportfolio including scrips like CESC, Arvind Mills and Jubilant Life ( Looks like a quick trade can get buyers Arvind at 135 -140 levels)

India Morning Report: At the top, VIX = 18, NSE Nifty = 6535

DIIs are again trying to correct the market levels hoping for a bigger correction sooner than expected as markets having scripted a recovery trade from all time highs of 6500 level look to executing the same fueled by FII investments. Hopes of a mild correction in Banknifty continue as trades from 12000 levels in Banknifty are also stymied by the lack of positive PSU trades, SBI and BOB still counting as fundamentally short picks. PSU Bank Capital plans are likely to strain Government finances as Insurance companies also reach their sector exposure limit of 25%. It remains inadvisable to increase sector exposure levels from 25% as well and the problem is likely to get complicated as many PSU banks are unlikely to stop NPA accumulation at the 100 bln mark they magically topped up to in December 2013.

Meanwhile the Powercos (Distcos) supplying to Delhi have a long expected bonanza in regulatory assets allowed to be claimed by the State Regulator (DERC) (–see BS lead of date )but apparently the price rise and yield is already been priced into Rel Infra and Tata Power ( Tulsiani)

The VIX trade in the meantime flies off the handle at a tepid 18, the move from 14 to 18 completed in all of two trading sessions on Friday and Monday as Option writers finally got busier and naked calls and shorts covered out at Monday highs and markets continue upward. The PCR also is likely to be stretched at best to 1.30 and till then considerably larger highs could be established for the markets to return toa as indeed foreign buying of INR 16 Bln on Monday is likely to be followed by more such thrugh this week with many shortlisted stocks showing new stamina including Bajaj Auto which is likely to go up to 2050 levels if not 2150, Bharti which is still at  305 levels and can trade up to 335-345

Buying opportunities in ICICI Bank and HDFC bank would be grabbed by the markets though shorts re likely to succeed in Axis Bank as well, with its NPA and management problems unresolved. IDFC is one of the rare scrips that offers liquid trades witha 20% range from current levels on the long side to under 130 levels and YES Bank is also still a big gap from its earleir high valuations of 6000 valued  on the same economic scenarios back in 2011 as India repeats its unique performance twice within th single minded slow plodding recovery after the banks broke in 2008

Reliance however seems saturated at 855 levels and GAIL seems to have been ignored unnecessarily at 355 levels as Pharma is likely to be ignored till the end of the week Cipla headed to below 350 levels, Sun to 580 and probable 1950 marks for DRL while domestic producers with an export portfolio like Glenmark, Cadila and Aurobindo Pharma are likely to get a fresh batch o f long term investors from current levels itself

The Rupee’s trades at below 61 levels , opening at 60.70 in the morning are likely to be followed by better and lower yields in the Bond markets as investors follow the currency buying with some debt investments in India and hopes for an investment cycle upside to India increase with easier availability of “ECB” debt

One should choose pedigree and portfolio when choosing infra stocks and not follow for leveraged small promoters as deal wins in the space almost threaten the existence of such corporates instead of improving their chances given the debt raising limitations

Infy and TCS are already topped up in investor portfolios and current falls are fundamental revaluations and not much institutional trading is likely happening in the two stocks right now

The 2010 consumer flotation offers including Talwalkars, Prestige , Page and LL remain premium stocks with Thomas Cook for FIIS looking at sectoral picks





India Morning Report: Banks keep investment cycle hopes “flying”

PSU Banks have mostly reached the highest expected NPA levels at INR 100 Bln each even as SBI discovers the choice to sell off current NPAs in the market, giving it enough tailwinds for the stock to catch up to rally leaders as ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank work to renewed targets after a buoyant Friday when the Banknifty’s 600 points led the index rise to above 6500. Asia opens much lower as China’s first targeted trade deficit makes it on lower exports, confusing markets looking at the same as a weak signal for other Asian and Australian exports to China.

The indices can now apparently score their new peak much before General elections are counted opn May 16, 2013 and a new government sworn in. The market is however not looking to correct anytime soon even as the PCR has ticked back to 1.16 on the Index and call options at 6400 and 6500 unqind with Puts and option hedges switching to writers and volatility for the overall markets still barely above 15, despite the big move up all of last week

Investment stocks getting delivery attention ( CNBC TV18) like Ashok Leyland and JP Associates, still lag behind immediate trading up potential in Eicher and Crompton Greaves, old stalwarts since the reform story of the 90s propeled India into investment portfolios. The weakest link in the market spine still seems to be heady interest in margin devolved Real estate and construction stocks  a little ahead of the real conversion in investment interest in India outside equities. The Pharma sector sees buying interest returning with shorts in DRL, Ranbaxy and Cipla countering excessive defensive runs by delivery buyers earlier in 2014.

Continuing short covering does not preclude higher levels in ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, with FII investment cycle also updated in Mannapuram Finance and indices now continuing further consolidation and increases in levels on use of index hedges converting to written puts at even 6500 levels by the end of the week despite it being a new high for the Indian markets starting the week with easier 6200 expiries if the markets continue to showcase buying strength as delivery interest in many undervakued index components and blue chips keeps up new bullish levels in the market. BOB almost seems like as good  a short candidate till 550 levels as DRL or Ranbaxy on Monday Morning

If markets ignore the steady stream of buying and keep 6500 levels it would definitely point to a better 2014 overall , however  an improbable choice would be a sharper run right away for quick profit- taking at below 7000 levels followed by a sharp correction ( Ashwini Gujral on ET Now had our ‘improbable’ prediction today morning)

SGX Nifty was unable to lead the trend over the weekend and waits for the Monday open at cash levels of the index. Apparently the Mid Cap index has on cue broken thru 50 DMA levels on Friday as well, broadening the rally as most index components and blue chips also continue to trade far below their final potential given the anemic recovery and continuing threats of a rate hike

SBI may also continue to react downward but the broader markets may not turn the same into an overall red tick recovering by the afternoon’s closing trades keeping 6500 marks to start the week. YES and the Power NBFCs could be still stronger with IDFC as buyers are likely to find their value case appealing for investment accumulation and Kotak likely to ride lower ticks to its 665 levels with Indusind Bank. ITC again looks like its not going anywhere at 335 levels while buying should continue in Barti all week irrespective of market trends

The Rupee remains stuck at 61 levels unable to move beyond that Friday peak and Fixed income markets continue to trade india debt a t 8.8% allowing more buyers to lock in that rate for India buys much before any Bond index entry is firmed up with current FII investment limits in Indian Gilts and other bonds good enough for now.

I agree, private sector banks will again be available at lower levels for buyers to come in the afternoon

India Morning Report: Markets start the Maruti short 1 month down

As expected, indices are holding and the degradation of Maruti’s role in Suzuki strategy has finally clicked into real trades early morning, that will probably keep the broader indices on an even keel, Maruti no longer a portfolio pick despite a 50% share of market and being the listed representation of quick and easy Indian growth components ( not many left there) as protected cash flows fail to assuage investors

A $2 Trillion GDP really bloated up India’s old economy bottlenecks and one needs to gravy the Indian infrastructure boat, but with hot money and leveraged inconscientous promoters the only steed, it is unlikely markets will try for that 7000 index just today

Cash equities have a lot to catch up with on the Futures that closed at a grainy premium, but I am not sure volumes are still low or if only one player is around, as India with 200% of GDP in equities, has deeper markets than most other Emerging markets including Korea and Singapore who still have a story to tell.

The traders picks continue to show six old timers without a growth strategy and apart from regular stories of restructuring on 1 or 2 of those stocks most others like Tata Elxsi may not be good trade picks either way

If markets are so indiscriminate and all mice come out to play on Friday before the weekend, there may be some reason to looking at short picks when they open dstarted in August and now for two months of 2014

I still worry about the Tech Mahindra story, apart from the possibility that they are playing with another i-banker to get the deal flow into a continuous stream. KPIT is a good pick but then insiders know when and till where 🙂 as PE picks up stake in the fast growth play with legs in embedded/systems programming/chip design and the normal outsourcing meat still available form more than one sector and not having been wasted on product /enterprise investments like at infy or wipro

Those foreign funds still underweight india will not get another chance to come and invest in India and may likely underperform Asia benchmarks at the end of the year, like HSBC Securities

Banks are hot again in this segment, and SBI shorts will strike before the end of next week as interest spreads across Pharma and some Consumer

In unlisted business, IIMA infra naming rights story headlined in ET is a late thing but a good start. One hopes there is also a base endowment fund when the Subsidies are let go from this sector. The Annual ioutgo from the HRD ministry could have well come for each institution from a single/individual endowment

StannCs back in an indiabull avatar but one wonders if there are beaten down sectors left this time for late entrants. Most Foreign investors who stayed invested over 2013 are going to score much higher this time onwards and one hopes this can become a doable tradition for the indian markets finally rid of old time ponies and bad trades in a new era

Unlisted Captives of Global Auto companies have the best chance to make a statement and increase Expoprts traction from India as Ford gets on it.

The Rupee has nowhere to go after hitting 62 from the up and Gold is stuck too even if they try to reverse the bear trend with some late late buying as markets can grab the precious metal at 30k levels itself for a good short and adding to equity trades

Indian residential and enterprise ( Retail Malls and Offices etc)  sector has some potential to add new inventory, last years smaller sales not having added new inventories at all. Chances of Bajaj Auto in the 2-wheelers producing positive surprises in next months data have increased but traders are right in clamping down on Hero, Bajaj and TVS as February data is released into the last months of deteriorating production conditions over most of the manufacturing sector as IIP uptick will include a negligible contribution from manufacturing. A new bite, though, the residential construction intel comes from one of our steel producers. Not the way to go , India so there iwll be another sad story down some months but I guess Jindal (JSPL) was a dead story anyway

India Morning Report: Les deux ex machina, et vous? Les fou de cirque n’est pa!

In singular, it would be the Ghost of the machine or the fool in the circus. A market of course has more than one of everything. Apart from that there is cricket too, where India turn a win opportunity into a clarion call to stay awake

Markets ‘jumped’ overnight to 6080 levels at the close, with US markets closed on Monday. The VIX trade is back again, 2 weeks from expiry, ( though the last week in Indian monthly expiry is usually the busiest in contrast to more deeper US and European markets that trade weekly expiries and expire by the Friday for Third Saturday in monthlies staying untraded the last week as most of the busy series are in the “next” month or new weeklies.

The banks are back with a bang but the Bank nifty trade is a good strangle range pick , even a sold straddle will give you a decent range (as Ashwini reccommended yesterday) as PSUs and SBI get exchanged out for new buys in ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Yes. While one is not sure of Kotak, PNB definitely has enough detractors yet despite the great performance with controlled NPAs and fully provisioned balance sheets at begin of year allowing improving provisions while releasing profits. That means PNB might again be a buy after the big run to 550 levels is cut on profit-taking.

I”d try a short in Kotak and let you know what happens. IDFC, Bharti  and ITC are great picks and starting from the bottom of the trading range while the Power NBFCs are ready for a move as well.

Bajaj Auto gets first mention on the Excise giveaways from PC’s last presentation, which was technically just a Vote on Account.

Excise Cuts on SUVs and Medium and Large Cars to 20% and 24% mean the gains in market will start for all automakers including the listed Maruti. The markets preferred Hero management coming out after the excise cut, but with Hero also biting a lost mandate for a grip back, Bajaj is still better off with Egypt exports hit by the import ban meaning less than 100K units to be recovered from the drop in excise duties.

The Indian Macro is easily the best poised for most fiscal adjustments to be burdened at this time and the VOA optimism could well prove to be PC’s gift to the parent Congress party in its new roles after the Elections as a fiscal deficit target of INR 5.3 T is not a shakedown or bleeding optimism in the projected Indian Balance Sheet. The nominal rates of growth at $1.10 T base in FY13 we assume may yield $1.26T and $1.44T targets for FY14 and FY15, that may very well be any other number at the realistic 11% nominal ( achieved in FY14, LV-CNBC) and 13% in FY15. However the 4.1% target look daunting esp as Food subsidies have been duly increased to INR 110,000 Crores (1.1T) and Energy subsidies understated at even INR 650 Bln (65000 crores) with INR 850 Bln scored in FY14 after the deferral.

A great Fisc performance thus at 4.6% will be greatly rewarded by the markets esp that includes INR 2.46 T and INR 1.8T only from Tax revenues but shows 100% achievement of Divestment (INR 400 Bln ) and Spectrum sale targets (INR 600 bln) and the new government make the usual drop down ravines for itsel fin beating the other government’s VoA, before trying to dump comparisons in the new Budget post general elections, All inall, not a great day in parliament for the new government as it would never sound better than boring humdrum in the whirring engines of growth that have to take over this year. A last note on India Macro stems from the continuing dissociation of Investment levels in the GDP at 34% from the true investment which has barely just hit 5% growth and mostly in the Consumer areas. Unconstrained Bank lending continues to remain available in India and interest rates are likely to continue down from here at a fair rate, allowing Fixed Income portfolios a bigger boost

There however is no comparison of the difference between any remaining expectations on Infrastructure investment in India and real participation to any other subject to kickstart India’s new millenium story, yet to begin after in stalled in 2009 and infra funds have to prove versatility in financing the new projects still blamed on bureaucrats or the Congress. None of the private cos as the markets have shown they realise, are in any position to take new project debt into these balance sheets at GMR, Relinfra or JP Associates and conventional bank lending is not the answer for them

Kejriwal and AAP brought the AAM AAdmi back but failed in their mandate by leaving from the aisles before the start of Act I.

Energy cos are getting the best possible deal with INR 1.1 T in payments despite the deferrals with more than INR 800 Bln already paid out , so they should have already been discounting much better levels, at least 250 for IOC for example as the fiscal did see a consistent unburdening of the energy infrastructure and a more rewarding marketplace, even as the Power regime gets more competitive

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