Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala Speaks

From Hindubusiness line 26-Dec-2006.

`2007 will be year of consolidation and rise for the Indian markets'

Bangalore , Dec. 25

"Market is always right. Markets cannot be taught, they have to be learnt.

"We must have an attitude where we must balance fear and greed," was the hot tip by Mr Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, India's high-profile investor and President of Rare Enterprises, when he spoke at a seminar on `Wealth creation through equity investments' organised by Welingkar Institute of Management here on Friday.

Mr Jhunjhunwala spoke about his convictions that made a case for sustaining the India growth story.

Equities, because of their efficiency in allocating capital and ability to leverage, generated superior returns when compared to other assets over the long term, he said.
Since 1979, the Sensex has delivered 21 per cent returns compounded annual growth rate, which compares well with returns on funds managed by the legendary global investor Warren Buffet, he added.

Mr Jhunjhunwala said that enormous wealth was created over the last five years because opportunities in India have been manifold.

There is a strong case for investing in equities considering its under-penetration today.
He predicts the proportion of household savings to equity to rise to 15 per cent in 2011 from 4.5 per cent now as a result of which about $45 billion would flow into equity markets as against $6 billion now.

He expects 2007 to be a year of consolidation and rise for the Indian markets. According to him, the Sensex may have a floor at 12,500 and a peak at 16,500 in 2007.
Admitting that gains were going to be moderate in future unlike the manifold rise over the last few years, he advised investors to be realistic in their expectations.

He said that markets were unlikely to peak unless they were trading at a multiple of 25-30 times forward earnings. They are currently trading at about 16 times their earnings for financial year 2008.

Growth momentum
Speaking on the strength in India's fundamentals, he elaborated on forces that would sustain the growth momentum.

According to him, growth enablers (such as favourable demographics, higher base of skilled people and education base), liberalisation catalysts (such as competition), fall in interest rates, multiplier effect (on account of reforms), structural changes in quality of corporate earnings and micro trends (such as change in mindset of companies who are aspiring to become global) are likely to drive India's growth story to a higher level.

He, however, cautioned that investors should not forget the four-letter word `Risk' while making investment decisions.

"Patience may be tested, but conviction will be rewarded," he said. Mr K. Rajagopal, CIO, Reliance Capital Asset Management, and Mr Joseph Massey, Deputy Managing Director, MCX, were among other speakers on the occasion.

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