Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Indian Funds Curry Favour With Investors

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India is stepping up a gear as the economy steps up to a gear to expand faster than that of China.

Financial experts say India has already seen markets rise by 10% this year and the growth shows no sign of abating.

The government is ready to pump billions of pounds into improving infrastructure in a bid to slam the economy into overdrive.

This phenomenal growth has seen markets and tracker funds monitoring them rise exponentially in the past year – such as the Barings India Fund, which returned 38% and the Jupiter India Fund which had a huge 69% increase.

The trigger for the change from a sluggish but emerging economy into a world leader was a change of government in 2014.

Government reforms

The National Democratic Alliance, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, won 336 seats out of a contested 514 constituencies.

The new government has proposed popular economic and business reforms that have boosted investor confidence and attracted money into the country.

Ajay Argal, head of Indian equities at Baring Asset Management, said: “A lot of people expected too much from the new government’s first budget, but it has set out a list of strong reforms which have been followed up.”

Key among these were infrastructure projects including spending up to £8 billion on new roads and a 50% increase in investment in railways.

India is also an oil exporter and decreasing energy costs are helping the economy as the country is a leading oil guzzler.

Demanding consumers

Not only has the government set aside cash for improving infrastructure, but a team is also working on unravelling red tape that chokes business and trade.

Important areas for expected double digit growth for investors are personal finance and the car industry.

India has a growing young population who are demanding consumer goods and financial services.

“Private banks are beginning to stake a claim in the market where the public sector was once dominant,” said Argal. “We anticipate growth of 20% over the next three to five years. Cars also look like a high growth area, with stocks expected to rise by 10% or more.

“This growth is not available in other stocks, which is why our fund is heavily invested in financial services.”

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