Sneha Poddar, AVP Research, Broking & Distribution, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said if the softening of inflation continues further, then it would eventually lead to the US Federal Reserve to taper its aggression. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is more likely to follow the US Fed and thus would not taper its tone till its is adopted by the latter.
Here are excerpts from the interview:
Q. Do you think after US CPI inflation print which came below estimates will allow Fed to go slow on rate hike, and RBI will follow the same?
A: The US CPI inflation data for the month of July came in at 8.5 per cent, down from 9.1 per cent in June and slightly below expectation of 8.7 per cent. However the Fed officials have responded to softening inflation data by saying it doesn’t change their stance towards higher interest rates, as the inflation still remains above the unacceptable levels. Since this is just first sign of inflation peaking out, and is too early to rule out subsequent high inflation data, uncertainty will loom over when the US Fed would slow down on its aggressive rate hikes. If the softening of inflation continues further, then it would eventually lead Fed to taper its aggression. The RBI is more likely to follow US Fed and thus would not taper its tone till its is adopted by US Fed.
Q. 5.40 per cent repo rate is already above pre-pandemic level, but still the RBI maintains “withdrawal of accomodation” stance. Do you think the neutral level of the repo rate is at or above 6 per cent?
A: The RBI has cumulatively hiked the policy repo rate by 140bp to 5.4 per cent in FY23 till date. It reiterated its continued focus on “withdrawal of accommodation” to contain inflation while supporting growth. However, it kept its inflation/growth forecasts unchanged at 6.7 per cent/7.2 per cent YoY, respectively, for FY23. This seems very confusing as how can the rate hikes help contain inflation without hurting growth? Further, the MPC did not sound dovish at all. There was neither a change in stance nor a relief in the RBI Governor’s statement disclaiming a possible pause in rate hikes. Thus we believe that the terminal rate in this hike cycle might be at 5.75-6.0 per cent
Q. In the current market conditions, which sectors are likely to perform well from an investor returns point-of-view?
A: We believe BFSI can do well in rising interest rate scenario. On the other hand with good monsoon, upcoming festive season and softening of commodity prices, the demand both urban and rural are expected to revive and pick up and thus we are positive on Consumer, Auto and Retail. With the opening up of economy and the structural shift being witnessed in favour of the industry post Covid, QSR remains in a sweet spot. While uncertainty around quantum of interest rate hikes is likely to impact the performance of real estate stocks in the near term, longer-term thesis on revival of housing cycle remains intact. There is imminent opportunity in the domestic Hospitality industry and the expected upcycle bodes well for the sector. We are selectively looking at IT sector as valuations have become attractive for accumulation from long term perspective.
Q. Where you see levels on benchmark indices going forward considering the FI inflows in the domestic equities?
A: Strong momentum in the market has helped Nifty rally by more than 2500 points from June lows, and thus, has wiped out the entire decline for the calendar year till date and turned positive. Strong macro data, FII turning positive, steady earnings and healthy progress in monsoon have been some of the key factors supporting the market. FIIs (including primary market) turned positive for the month of July after nine months of continuous outflows and has been continuous buyer throughout the month of August so far. With the softening of commodity prices, even inflation seems to be peaking out and festive season is about to begin which should support demand and thus corporate earnings. Thus the overall trend in the market seems to be positive, however bouts of volatility can’t be ruled out as uncertainty over rate hike quantum and China-Taiwan tussle continues. Further, with this recent rally, Nifty now trades at ~20x FY23E, above its 10-year average, thus offering limited upside in the near term. Going forward, it could be a tug of war between domestic and global factors which could determine the market direction.
Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse: Adani Group Issues Clarification Amid ‘Nefarious Attempts’ To Link It To The Incident
The Adani Group issued a clarification on Monday in response to recent claims linking the company to the tragic incident of a tunnel collapse in Uttarakhand. These allegations suggest that the group should be ‘held responsible’ for the Uttarkashi tunnel collapse.
“It has come to our notice that some elements are making nefarious attempts to link us to the unfortunate collapse of a tunnel in Uttarakhand. We strongly condemn these attempts and those behind them,” the company stated in the media release.
“We clarify with utmost emphasis that the Adani Group or any of its subsidiaries has no direct or indirect involvement of any kind in the tunnel’s construction. We also clarify that we do not own or hold any shares in the company involved in the tunnel’s construction. At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with the trapped workers and their families,” it added.
The construction of the Uttarkashi tunnel, a part of the Char Dham project, is being carried out by Navayuga Engineering Company Limited based in Hyderabad. This company, under the Navayuga Group, led by CV Rao, has no apparent link with the Adani Group.
Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse
In an unfortunate incident, an under-construction tunnel located in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, collapsed during the early hours of Sunday, November 12, leaving around 41 laborers trapped inside. This incident unfolded along the Yamunotri National Highway, posing a significant risk to the lives of those who were trapped within. The occurrence transpired late at night, prompting ongoing rescue operations aimed at safely extracting the workers from the tunnel.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Inaugurates SBI Branch In Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, marked her official visit to Sri Lanka by inaugurating the State Bank of India (SBI) branch in Trincomalee.
Ministry of Finance posted on X, “Union Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman inaugurated the State Bank of India @TheOfficialSBI Branch in Trincomalee, today, during her official visit to Sri Lanka. H.E. Mr. @S_Thondaman, Governor of Eastern Province, Sri Lanka; Shri Gopal Baglay, India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, and Chairman @TheOfficialSBI Shri Dinesh Khara were also present at the inauguration”.
The event was attended by several dignitaries, including H.E. S Thondaman, the Governor of the Eastern Province in Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay, India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, and Chairman of SBI, Dinesh Khara.
During the inaugural ceremony, Sitharaman acknowledged the remarkable legacy of the State Bank of India, which has been serving Sri Lanka for 159 years.
She commended SBI’s dedication to expanding its operations both domestically and internationally.
The presence of SBI in Sri Lanka has played a crucial role, particularly during the recent Sri Lankan economic crisis.
It facilitated the smooth extension of a Line of Credit worth USD 1 billion from the Government of India to Sri Lanka, further strengthening the bilateral relationship.
Furthermore, SBI Sri Lanka continues to play a vital role in supporting corporates engaged in international trade.
The bank has been actively promoting remittances through a robust digital platform, including the SBI Sri Lanka YONO app and online banking services, in addition to traditional in-branch operations.
Following the inauguration, Sitharaman had the opportunity to interact with the new branch officials and distribute passbooks to new customers. She also left her mark in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, by filling the visitor’s book.
There are currently five branches of SBI Sri Lanka in operation- the Fort and Foreign Currency Banking Unit (FCBU) branches in the main Fort building, the Colpetty branch, the Wellawatta branch, and the Kandy branch. Every Branch is connected to every other Branch via a network.
Trincomalee, a region in Sri Lanka, hosts several Indian businesses, including oil marketing companies and petrochemical infrastructures, underlining the robust economic ties between the two nations.
This initiative further strengthens the financial and economic cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.
Wagh Bakri Director Parag Desai, Injured In Attack By Stray Dogs, Dies Due To Brain Haemorrhage At 49
Parag Desai, executive director at Gujarat Tea Processors and Packers, which is known for its brand Wagh Bakri passed away on October 22, a week after he was injured in an accident.
Desai was admitted to Shelby Hospital on October 15 after he slipped outside his residence trying to fight street dogs that attacked him. He suffered severe head injuries during the fall that led to brain haemorrhage.
A security guard informed the family member of the incident after which he was rushed to the hospital. After a day of observation at Shelby Hospital, Desai was moved to Zydus Hospital for a surgical procedure.
However, he passed away on Sunday due to brain haemorrhage.
Gujarat Congress Chief and Rajya Sabha Member Shaktisinh Gohil offered his condolences through a social media post. He said, “Very sad news coming in. Parag Desai, Director and owner Wagh Bakri Tea passed away. He had a brain haemorrhage following a fall. May his soul rest in peace. My condolences to the entire Wagh Bakri family across India.”
He was the son of Rasesh Desai, the Managing Director of the Wagh Bakri Tea Group. Desai is survived by his wife and daughter Vidisha and Parisha.
Deasi who led the Group’s transformation into Tea lounges and e-commerce has completed his MBA from Long Island University in the US. He was an expert tea taster and evaluator and through his career has spearheaded the sales, marketing and export department for the group.
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