CLSA upgrades India’s regional allocation, favoring equities amid economic upswing


In a recent shift in investment strategy, Hong Kong-based brokerage and investment group CLSA has increased India’s regional allocation to ‘overweight’, 20% above the MSCI benchmark. This change was announced on Wednesday, reflecting a positive outlook on India’s strong GDP growth and a rebounding credit impulse.

CLSA has moved funds from downgraded China and reduced Australian exposure towards Indian equities, transitioning from a 40% underweight to a 20% overweight stance. This move is driven by robust credit impulse, favorable energy costs, strong corporate earnings growth, discounted oil imports, and gains in India’s Nifty indices.

India’s inclusion in the global fixed income benchmark is expected to fortify its financial markets by attracting foreign capital. Lower global oil prices are also projected to improve India’s current account balance and balance of payments funding gap, enhancing economic stability.

Despite concerns over expensive valuations, limited central bank policy flexibility, and the balance of payments funding gap, the IMF’s 6.3% growth forecast aligns with CLSA’s expectation of a 15% annual expansion in earnings per share.

Following a quality growth names screening, CLSA identified high-conviction picks that represent a diverse cross-section of the Indian economy. These include Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, State Bank of India, Bajaj Finance, Larsen & Tourbo, Axis Bank, ONGC, and Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM).

Yet concerns persist about the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) limited policy flexibility for interest rate accommodation in response to economic shocks or inflationary pressures. Despite these challenges, CLSA’s shift indicates confidence in the ongoing economic upswing in India.


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