Monday, 13 May 2013

Government inaction causes investment to flee Indian infrastructure: Indian stock markets to implode in the near term

Silently Foreign Institutional Investor money is fleeing from investments in Indian infrastructure. The latest to exit from all India Infrastructure investments was the world's largest India dedicated infrastructure fund, UK based 3i India Infrastructure Fund."While the case for infrastructure development in India remains unaltered, private infrastructure investment in India has faced more political, market and macroeconomic challenges than we expected when we initially made our commitment to the India Fund in 2007," 3i said in a statement issued last Thursday. As of March 2013, the fund's India investments were valued at about 80% of their cost in dollar terms, 3i said.

This is the latest in a continuing saga of enthusiastic FIIs investing in India and then pulling out after facing bureaucracy and intransigence from government officials. As I have blogged before, near term outlook for the Indian economy continues to deteriorate and it is only a matter of time before the bubbly Indian stock market implodes.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

India IT outsourcing industry may be spiraling downwards hurting India's GDP further

Changing US immigration legislation landscape, slowdown in capital spending on IT and competition from newer, cheaper sources of IT labor pool such as the Philippines and China is forcing the Indian IT outsourcing industry to metamorphosize into providing alternative models of outsourced services (see video). IT outsourcing has created more than 2 million jobs and in 2012 contributed 6.4% of India's GDP according to the National Association of Software and Services Companies, based in New Delhi. Already, IT outsourcing behemoths such as Infosys are being squeezed by revenue pressures and forced to try new strategies in an increasingly commoditised  market. Unless a new paradigm shift in IT outsourcing occurs, Indian IT outsources may spiral downwards further hurting India's weak growth prospects. Investors are strongly cautioned to diversify away from IT outsourcing linked equities and increase their exposure to US dollar denominated assets.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Long term prognosis for the Indian Rupee is abysmal - time to increase exposure to US dollar denominated assets

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) clearly fears inflationary pressures in India to the extent that it cut the repo rate only by 25 basis points today disappointing markets. RBI governor is quoted in the Economic Times as saying that "Conditional upon a normal monsoon, agricultural growth could return to trend levels. The outlook for industrial activity remains subdued, with the pipeline of new investment drying up and existing projects stalled by bottlenecks and implementation gaps." Persistently high current account deficit, credit growth falling to the lowest growth rate in over a decade, and now the RBI's own admittedly hawkish stance on inflation only add to an abysmal prognosis for the fate of the Indian rupee. Expectations that the Rupee will hit 60 to the US dollar are steadily rising. Government Pollyannas still try to come up with creative explanations to invent a growth story (see video).

As long as the RBI's Liberalised Remittance Scheme is still available to Indian residents, Indian or NRI investors are strongly urged to increase their portfolio exposure to US dollar denominated investments. You only have yourself to blame if your net worth significantly falls due to a sliding Indian rupee.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Comparing FDI into India with inward migrant remittances paints a truer picture of where Indian economy is headed

India received a total of US$69 Billion in remittances from NRIs and other overseas Indians in 2012 making India the leading recepient of remittances from overseas. This covered almost 40% of the merchandise trade deficit in 2012. During the April-February period of 2012-13, FDI into India declined 38% to $20.89 billion as compared to $33.49 billion during the same period of the previous fiscal year. Sectors which received large FDI inflows during the 11 months of 2012-13 include services ($4.74 billion), hotel and tourism ($3.21 billion), metallurgical ($1.39 billion), construction ($1.26 billion) and Pharmaceuticals ($1.11 billion). India received maximum FDI from Mauritius ($8.97 billion), followed by Japan ($2.11 billion), Singapore ($1.98 billion), the Netherlands ($1.67 billion) and the UK ($1.06 billion). These figures paint a completely different picture of the Indian economy and where it is headed. Thank God for the migrant remittances, it is essentially helping reduce the Indian current account deficit (CAD).

Also, the fact that Mauritius is the leading FDI investor into India (which is essentially laundered money moving out of India and back into India through the Mauritius channel) tells us that the media hype we usually hear about all the FDI interest in India is essentially bogus. The falling FDI rate into India tells us that investor confidence in India still remains very low. Thus, it is essentially the migrant remittances that is keeping the Indian rupee afloat. If one day the migrant remittances start falling, India's CAD will balloon beyond repair and send the rupee into a free fall. For the next few months leading to Indian general election scheduled for 2014 very strong caution is advised.