You are here: Home » Markets » News
Business Standard
Web Exclusive

Market valuation is attractive; time to take risk for long-term gains

The current problem that looks to be temporary, isn't changing the longer-term structural economic growth opportunity.

Vaibhav Sanghavi  |  Mumbai 

Vaibhav Sanghavi
Strong businesses will bounce back equally sharply post the stabilisation of pandemic, says Vaibhav Sanghavi

2020 has been a year of unprecedented volatility, starting from the problems in West Asia led by Iran, following up with China Coronavirus, Union Budget, breaking of OPEC-controlled oil prices and the subsequent spread of virus from China to other countries, leading to a World Health Organisation (WHO) declared pandemic. The effect of all these events has led to a massive dent in sentiment and global have corrected sharply.

From a global perspective, there is an expectation that economic growth will take a big hit, as countries lock down to control the spread of the virus. Global equity are thus correcting anticipating prolonged crisis.

Various Governments, and their respective central banks, have come in with fiscal and monetary measures to ease the pain of demand shock in the short-term. While volatility has risen to 2008 levels, we have to be careful to compare the current situation to 2008 global financial crisis (GFC). In my view both the events are very different and not comparable. Once the fresh new infection cases plateau, like we witnessed In China, normalcy should resume. In addition to the virus, oil prices has also seen a sharp correction. Failure to arrive at production cut targets among OPEC has added to global risk-off.

What we've read or seen about the pandemic, it is expected to stabilise within few months as a concerted effort is put together to curb the spread. Meanwhile, while this is likely to have a short-term impact, this should not structurally change the dynamics of an economy, making this a temporary phenomenon. In the interim, the fear factor is likely to be at its peak. The effect of co-ordinated monetary and fiscal easing leading to demand incentivisation and liquidity will show its full effect on the economy and once this short-term fear abates.

The Indian government, too, has been proactive and have initiated various measures to control the spread of virus. That said, there have been some encouraging green shoots on economic data over the last few months - viz. better index of industrial production (IIP) and Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) numbers. Lower crude prices may lead to lower inflation, and looking at our high real interest rates, there is a scope of a sizeable rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The Indian economy per se is in a sweet spot, wherein we are largely dependent on domestic consumption and have relatively lesser global influence.

From an equity market perspective, we have always been complaining of relative higher valuations. After current market correction, valuations have become attractive and provide a great entry point for a long-term investor. Hence, the current problem that looks to be temporary, isn't changing the longer-term structural economic growth opportunity. Strong businesses will bounce back equally sharply post the stabilisation of pandemic.

Investors should look through the shorter-term pain and as the longer-term investment opportunity looks very attractive. That said, the short-term volatility would continue to remain elevated and investors need to manage risk. It is generally said that return is a factor of risk you take, and maybe this is a time where we should take risks to benefit from the potential of earning better returns from equities in the long term.

===================================

Vaibhav Sanghavi is co-CEO at Avendus Capital. Views are his own.

First Published: Mon, March 16 2020. 09:53 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU