These 10 charts show what forced Moody’s to upgrade India ratings
Analysts say even without the upgrade, domestic equity market was poised to surge.
A worry was growing on Dalal Street over the past few days, causing the Sensex to plunge over 500 points in last three sessions (November 12-15) while the Nifty50 breached the crucial 10,200 mark.
But market veterans remained bullish, saying these corrections were part of a bull market and were healthy for a long-term uptrend.
This market is not at all in the bubble zone, insists Porinju Veliyath, ace stock picker. It will continue to move forward, he told ETNow.
The Moody’s upgrade put things in perspective. The ratings agency upgraded India’s local and foreign currency issuer ratings to Baa2 from Baa3 and changed its outlook on the rating to stable from positive.
But analysts say even without the upgrade, the domestic equity market was poised to surge ahead. They pointed to 10 charts to argue why the market should head higher in the long run.
One should not get worried by short-term fluctuations, they insist.
Fastest growing among BRICS and ASEAN
India remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world with strong fundamentals and economic reforms.
According to IMF World Economic Outlook October 2017, India is expected to surpass all its BRICS and ASEAN counterparts (except Myanmar), including China, Indonesia and Malaysia in terms of GDP growth in 2018.
According to a report by Ernst & Young, India has benefitted from a stable macroeconomic environment of low inflation and low interest rates, which has helped it counteract temporary slowdown in consumer spend and investment, following last year’s demonetisation drive.
Structural reforms to give India 8-10% GDP growth
Moody’s expects India’s real GDP growth to moderate to 6.7 per cent in the financial year ending in March 2018 (FY2017). However, as the disruption fades, assisted by recent government measures to support SMEs and exporters with GST compliance, real GDP growth will rise to 7.5 per cent in FY2018, with similarly robust growth levels from FY2019 onward. In the longer term, India's growth potential is significantly higher than most other Baa-rated sovereigns, it says.
According to the IMF, India’s economy is expected to grow at 7.4 per cent in 2018, up from an estimated 6.7 per cent in 2017. The timely and smooth implementation of landmark reforms such as the GST and IBC as well as decisive action to resolve the non-performing asset (NPA) challenge in public sector banks are crucial for India to realise its potential real GDP growth of 8-10 per cent.
The IMF projects India to overtake Germany in 2022 as the world’s fourth-largest economy, displacing the UK from the top five.
Rising purchasing power and per capita income
As per the central Statistics Office, India’s per capita net national income, which is the gauge for measuring living standards, grew 10.4 per cent in FY17 to $1,591 from $1,440 during FY16. The growing purchasing power and rising influence of the digital media have enabled Indian consumers to spend more.
India’s private consumption expenditure is also expected to grow at a CAGR of 7 per cent from $1.3 trillion in 2016 to about $2 trillion by 2022. Maximum consumer spending is likely to come from the food, housing, consumer durables, transport and communication sectors.
India’s total household wealth stood at $5 lakh crore while the country is home to 245,000 millionaires, says a Credit Suisse report. The number of ultra-rich population in the country is expected to reach 372,000 while the total household income is likely to grow by 7.5 per cent annually to touch $7.1 lakh crore by 2022, the report said. Rising income will help in to increase consumption expenditure in the country.
The Reserve Bank of India, in its credit and monetary policy review in October 2017, kept the policy rate unchanged. The RBI kept the policy stance “neutral” with the objective of achieving a medium term consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate of 4 per cent within a band of +/-2 per cent.
Economists lowered their CPI forecasts for FY18 and FY19, after inflation averaged 4.5 per cent in FY17. E&Y in a report said, “Asian Development Bank (ADB) lowered India’s inflation forecast to 4 per cent for FY18 from an earlier estimate of 5.2 per cent.”
Demand from developed world, export boosters
India’s exports grew 4.7 per cent to $274.7 billion during FY17 from $262.3 billion in FY16, its fastest pace in five years. A revival of growth and demand in developed economies and a surge in commodity prices in 2H17 boosted Indian shipment.
The top exporting destinations include the US, the UAE, Hong Kong, China and the UK. Imports decreased marginally by 0.17 per cent year-on-year in FY17 to $380.4 billion as against $381.0 billion in FY16. The trade deficit for FY17 was at $105.7 billion, around 11 per cent lower than the deficit of $118.7 billion during FY16.
Rising foreign investments to keep rupee strong
India’s foreign exchange reserves stood at approximately $398 billion as on October 6, 2017 as compared to $372 billion in the previous year on the same date. The increase can be attributed to a rise in foreign currency assets.
Global investors are taking advantage of high real interest rates and a strong rupee, which has gained more than 6 per cent in 2017 (till September) against the US dollar. The rupee has remained among the best-performing emerging market currencies in 2017.
The high forex holdings would help the rupee withstand any volatility, especially with the Federal Reserve expected to reduce the US stimulus. A combination of increasing foreign portfolio investment (FPI) and FDI in the country may drive the rupee in the coming quarters.
India’s relatively lower dependence on external trade, commitment to reforms, improved policies and stable macro fundamentals are expected to help the Indian rupee remain resilient in FY18.
Strong reforms to improve investment climate
Inward FDI in India has been growing consistently at a CAGR of 15 per cent since FY13, due to the Government’s favourable policies and robust business environment. FDI inflows reached an all-time high of $60.1 billion in FY17 as the current Government eased rules to attract global companies to invest in key sectors.
Construction sector to strengthen
India’s construction sector is considered to be the country’s second largest employer and contributor to economic activity after agriculture. It employs more than 35 million people. It accounts for the second highest inflow of FDI after services.
The construction industry has contributed nearly 8 per cent to the national GDP during the last five years. The Indian construction industry is expected to grow at a year-on-year growth rate of around 5 per cent from Rs 10.4 lakh crore ($161 billion) in FY16 to Rs 11.4 lakh crore ($176 billion) in FY17. It is expected to reach Rs 17 lakh crore ($263 billion) in FY21 at a CAGR (FY16-21) of around 10 per cent.
Earnings outlook generally better
According to Kotak Securities, Q2FY18 earnings were generally good with modest improvement in underlying trends in the case of a few sectors. The brokerage house saw some earnings upgrades in the 2QFY18 results season due to improvement in operating parameters in sectors such as banks, consumer staples, consumer discretionary, upstream oil & gas companies and telecom.