We have identified opportunities in financials, consumption, infrastructure, and technology sectors. We believe that many companies within these sectors have the potential to offer attractive returns from a long-term perspective. Abhishek Thepade, our lead portfolio manager of the fund DNB India, is from India, and provides in-depth expertise from his understanding of the culture and region.
In today's world, where the global economy is experiencing a slowdown, India shines bright with an impressive growth rate of approximately 6-6.5%. This performance is not just commendable; it outshines many of its Asian and global counterparts.
Indian companies have reported promising earnings growth, leading to a robust performance of the markets. While valuations may seem high at first glance, we think they are justified by the excellent earnings growth these companies have demonstrated. The combination of strong earnings growth has not gone unnoticed. The MSCI India index has had a compound annual growth rate of 16 percent measured in NOK the last ten years, per September 2023, outperforming MSCI World.
Our optimism for the Indian market is rooted in several compelling factors.
Despite a global downturn, India's macro-economic health remains strong. While it has risen over the last months, inflation is still within comfort zones. Interest rates, even after hikes, remain below their 10-year average, a stark contrast to the developed world which is currently facing inflation and interest rate challenges. Employment, manufacturing, and services are all seeing a growth phase, marking a vibrant economic landscape.
Political Stability and Reforms
A stable political environment in India has paved the way for significant reforms in taxation, banking, and manufacturing. Increased and improved tax collections have boosted infrastructure spending. The banking sector, revitalized by new bankruptcy laws, is poised for continued growth with an abundance of capital and a dramatic reduction in non-performing loans (NPLs).
Diversification Away from China
As global companies look to reduce dependency on China due to the ongoing trade and technology disputes, India emerges as one of the primary beneficiaries. With an abundance of resources and labor, it is becoming a preferred hub for companies seeking diversification. Investments in sectors like electronics, auto, and textiles are on the rise.
India, now the world’s most populous nation, boasts an impressively young population, with a median age of 28 years. This means that India has a very compelling demographic advantage for economic growth. A rising middle class and increasing per capita income set the stage for a boom in consumption and investment.
The Digital Leap
The post-pandemic era has seen a digital revolution in India. A surge in startups indicates a dynamic shift towards sectors like e-commerce, logistics, and payment solutions. An uptick in private investments and robust corporate balance sheets project a promising future for earnings and economic growth.
In a nutshell, the combination of a stable political environment, macro-economic resilience, strategic global positioning, demographic advantage, and digital transformation makes the Indian market a promising destination for investors. Despite global uncertainties, India’s growth narrative remains very compelling and offers a plethora of opportunities for those looking to diversify and enhance their investment portfolio.
The content of this article is not intended as investment advice or recommendations. If you have any questions about the funds referred to, you should contact a financial advisor who knows you and your situation.
Also, remember that historical returns in funds are never a guarantee of future returns. Future returns will partly depend on market developments, the manager's skill, the fund's risk, as well as purchase, management, and redemption costs. The return may also be negative because of capital losses.