India is JPMorgan’s top BRIC market for next year

EYE ON 2013::JPMorgan made the pick in light of a recent major overhaul in policy. It is underweight on China, as well as Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore

Bloomberg

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 - Page 15

Indian stocks are the top selection among the so-called BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations next year at JPMorgan Chase & Co because of improving policy and easier monetary conditions.

“We remain constructive on Indian equities as we go into 2013,” JPMorgan analysts led by Adrian Mowat and Sunil Garg wrote in a report yesterday.

The brokerage is underweight on China, where the “key concern is profits as capacity continues to grow faster than demand,” they said.

The BSE India Sensitive Index has rallied 18 percent this year, more than any other benchmark gauges for Brazil, Russia and China, driven by foreign fund flows and government policy measures unveiled since mid-September. About 950 of China’s Shanghai Composite Index’s companies reported third-quarter net income, with an average drop of 1.9 percent from a year earlier, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The 30-stock SENSEX trades at 15 times estimated earnings, compared with a multiple of 16 for Brazil’s Bovespa Index, 5.6 for Russia and 9.6 for China. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index trades at a multiple of 11.2, the data show.

JPMorgan said it was also overweight on the Philippines as the nation’s consumption is picking up, and on Thailand because of robust domestic demand and low interest rates. The brokerage lowered Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore to underweight.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh started the biggest policy overhaul in a decade in mid-September to revive Asia’s third-biggest economy. Foreigners have purchased a net US$18.7 billion of local shares this year, the most among the 10 Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg, excluding China.

India’s GDP will increase 5.8 percent in the year through March 31, the central bank said on Oct. 30, the slowest pace since 2003. There is a “reasonable” chance of easing in the March quarter as inflation cools, the bank said that day after refraining from cutting borrowing costs.