Men looks up at an electronic screen displaying stock figures at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Sensex At All-Time High But India Not Out Of The Woods Yet, CLSA Says

India’s macros are a concern even as the country’s most popular stock benchmark touched a fresh all-time high. That’s according to brokerage CLSA’s India Strategist, Mahesh Nandurkar.

The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 1.2 percent to 36,699.53 driven by refining stocks, as a decline in crude oil prices lowered their costs.

The optimism was also fuelled by the promising start to the first-quarter earnings season with Sensex members Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. and IndusInd Bank Ltd. reporting a good set of numbers. While the private lender reported stable asset quality, India's largest software exporter's profit grew more than 6 percent.

India Inc.'s earnings will grow by 18-20 percent in the first quarter of the current financial year, according to Nandurkar, after several quarters of muted growth.

“We are expecting more than 20 percent earnings growth for the [pharma] sector.”
Sensex At All-Time High But India Not Out Of The Woods Yet, CLSA Says

Also read: What Contributed To Nifty’s 1,000-Point Jump From March Low

Here are the key highlights from the conversation and CLSA’s report.

  • Seeing improvement in corporate earnings.
  • Good earnings expected from auto, consumer and media sectors.
  • Earnings decline expected for telecom and cement.
  • IT and pharmaceutical sectors likely to benefit from forex tailwinds.
  • Bullish on pharmaceutical and healthcare stocks with a double overweight rating.
  • Believe real estate has bottomed out and should improve in second half of FY19.
  • Expect financials to report weak numbers, around 90 percent earnings declined, year-on-year.
  • Oil public sector units’ profits likely to double, YoY.
  • Expect Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Idea Cellular Ltd. to report loss.
  • Expect profit decline for Adani Ports & SEZ Ltd. due to market-to-market loss on foreign debt.
  • Profit for cement companies expected to decline 37 percent, YoY.
  • Short duration debt markets look more attractive.
  • Would not rule out 10-year yield touching 8 percent.
  • Expect more than one rate hike this year.
  • Have seen some slowdown in domestic inflows.
  • Emerging market funds seeing some outflows including from India.
  • Large-cap stocks have been the point of attraction for FIIs.
  • Expect another two to four rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve over the next 12-18 months.
  • Valuation of tobacco stocks looks attractive.
  • Evidence of revival in U.S. BFSI space positive for IT companies.
  • Maintain neutral stance on IT.