HSBC – view on Indian Markets

HSBC is surprised about Indian Fund Managers and Investors’ bullishness.Their take on Indian Markets : Indian investors must be the only bulls left in the world.We think their expectations of lower rates and strong earnings are over-optimistic. We remain underweight .Elsewhere bears are ubiquitous, but behaviour has not become ultra-bearish yet.

The worst is not, so long as we can say “This is the worst” (Shakespeare, King Lear).

They are an increasingly rare breed, but we have found a herd of them at last – bulls, that is. In marketing trips over the past few months to the US, Europe and around Asia (even in China and Korea) we do not remember meeting a single bullish investor. Some fund managers have been less bearish than others, but we do not recall a single one telling us they had a high conviction that stocks would rise strongly over coming months.
We were shocked, then, to find in meeting fund managers in India this week that perhaps two-thirds are outright bullish, some extremely so, and many are puzzled as to why the Indian market has fallen at all this year and why foreigners have been net sellers. Their bullishness is perhaps understandable when you look at how strongly the Indian market has performed in the past two months, outperforming MSCI Asia ex Japan by 25% and enjoying a nice summer rally while that in the rest of the region petered out.
They are also enjoying the luxury of net inflows: Indian domestic equity funds have seen average monthly inflows of INR39bn this year, compared to INR20bn last year
Outside of India, bulls are non-existent. But, while investors may talk bearishly, they have not necessarily acted that way yet. Mutual fund cash holdings, hedge fund returns and analysts’ recommendations have all become a little more bearish in recent months, but none are at capitulation levels yet. The bear market goes on.

Capitulation is yet to happen

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