Aussie fund manager returns 52% last year from investing in India

Mugunthan Siva is the Managing Director of India Avenue Investment Management

You have got to hand it to the team at India Avenue Investment Management, with offices in Sydney and Mumbai.

Last year their leading fund made 52% for their Australian investors – and they specialise in India.

And they are about to launch another.

This group is “the avenue” for investors into India.

Is it time to have India in your portfolio?

https://www.afr.com/technology/how-india-helped-this-fundie-return-52pc-last-year-20220126-p59rfo

Great next era for India-Australia, says Hall Chadwick

Peter Pryn is a regular visitor to India and assists market entry for both India and Australia

As we approach Indian Republic Day and Australia Day – both on 26 January – here is a great message from my good friend Peter Pryn, Director of Hall Chadwick. This firm has a long commitment to building India-Australia business relations.

Change brings opportunity

This year, we see there to be great opportunities for international enterprises entering the Australian market. While there are niggling concerns about the Omicron variant, the post-COVID landscape is certainly one of rapid technological change, a transformational shakeup of global trading norms has occurred and there is an increasing focus on sustainable business. There is no doubt the way Australian business manage supply chains and source skilled staff has changed over the last two years. We see our clients, irrespective of scale, continue to look at ways to minimize supply chain interruptions to achieve an acceptable level of profitability.

Looking ahead: India – Australia relations

The Australian economy is very strong and the trend of high levels of foreign investment is forecast to continue. Along with a further easing of border restrictions in 2022, we are likely see a more aggressive migration program to catch up on lost population growth. This could be announced in the Federal Budget in May. We hope to see an expansive trade partnership (CECA) between India and Australia come to fruition before year-end. In a joint statement from Ministers Mr. Piyush Goyal and Mr. Dan Tehan last December, officials have been directed to speed up the negotiations.

These are all signs of a great next era in India – Australia business relations. We encourage you to start a conversation with us about opportunities to collaborate on business initiatives in 2022. 

We wish you all the best for your Republic Day and the year ahead.

Peter Pryn

Director

+61 3 9820 6400
  ppryn@hallchadwickmelb.com.au

India’s NSE world’s largest derivatives exchange

The National Stock Exchange in India’s finance capital, Mumbai

According to the Futures Industry Association (FIA), the National Stock Exchange of India has surpassed the New York Stock Exchange as the world’s largest derivatives exchange for the third year in a row in terms of the number of contracts traded in 2021. In addition, according to the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) figures for 2021, the exchange placed fourth in terms of cash equities trading.

In the year 2021, the total number of registered investors on the NSE surpassed the 50 million milestone, reaching 55 million. The daily average turnover of equity futures has surged by 4.2 times in the recent decade, from US$ 4.47 billion in 2011 to US$ 18.98 billion in 2021. The daily average turnover of the cash market increased by 6.2 times within the same period, from US$ 1.50 billion in 2011 to US$ 9.3 billion in 2021.

The daily average turnover in currency derivatives surged by 83% from US$ 1.91 billion in 2011 to US$ 3.49 billion in 2021.

According to the exchange, academic research has demonstrated that a well-functioning derivatives market can provide a number of advantages, including greater liquidity and improved price discovery for the underlying assets.

The NSE recently announced that derivatives on the Nifty Midcap Select index will be available beginning January 24, 2022. With broad participation from all classes of investors in the current equity market rise, the midcap segment has come into focus, resulting in greater liquidity in these companies.

India economy has weathered the pandemic and set for growth – ASK Capital Management report

ASK Capital Management is a Singapore based entity with a focus on managing and advising India centric investments for institutional and family office clients. Their latest report shows how the Indian economy has weathered the pandemic and is set for growth:

This report relates to ASK India Opportunities Fund – Fund 1

The rapid rise in COVID cases due to the new Omicron variant, hawkish tone by major Central Banks around the world and persistent inflation contributed to a volatile December for the global equity markets. Despite this the markets ended on a positive note with most markets registering positive returns in the month. India was amongst the better performing markets with benchmark BSE500 ending up 3.2% in USD terms while the Fund was up 2.7%, net of fees in December. For the year 2021, the Fund returned 29.7%, net of fees compared to 27.6% for BSE500.

After another year spent in the shadow of the COVID, we begin 2022 with a new variant of the virus disrupting resumption of normal life. This, along with inflationary pressures and a move away from high liquidity and accommodative stance of Central Banks are the biggest risks to global economy for the year. While the new variant of the virus appears less fatal, the disruption means global supply chain issues will take longer to resolve. Tighter liquidity and end of cheap money means investors will have to temper expectations of returns in the new year and bottom-up stock picking will become crucial differentiator.

The Indian economy has weathered the pandemic induced slowdown well due to the proactive and effective steps taken by the RBI and the Government. The economy is above pre-COIVD levels in size and expected to grow around 9% in FY22 and 7.5%-7.9% in FY2023 by various estimates, one of the highest growing major economies in the world. As described in the past, lower debt on corporate balance sheets, controlled NPAs in banking sector and Government policies such as “Make In India” and Production Linked Incentives (PLIs) for various sectors should revive a domestic capex cycle.

While the recovery in India has been strong, it has also been uneven with the rural segment affected more from the Delta variant in Q1FY22. This should normalise over the course of the year and aid in demand recovery. Similarly, hiring activity continues to remain strong which should support demand.

As commodity prices and inflation stabilise, companies should report increase in margins over the coming quarters as prices increases are passed on to consumers. Thus, companies with higher pricing power and better cost controls should be able to deliver superior earnings growth with likely increase in market share. This has historically been the case for our portfolio companies, and we see no reason that this cannot be the case again. Our expectation is for the portfolio to deliver an average earnings CAGR of 26% over the next 3 years.

During the month we exited from Pidilite Industries and added Avenue SuperMart to the portfolio. We believe Avenue SuperMart is a well-oiled business model in a large opportunity landscape with a strong focus on low procurement and operating costs. Its store ownership model, right store size and low supply chain cost with auto replenishments help it to maintain low operating cost to achieve the key pillar of its success – everyday low cost and everyday low price. In a predominantly food and grocery business (52% revenue contribution) with wafer-thin margins (15% gross margin), the company is able to offer everyday low pricing, unlike peers that offer discounts on select days in a week or month, creating a competitive edge.

Contact:

Nikhil Iyer, CFA, Head of Institutional Business, APAC

ASK Capital Management Pte Ltd

m: +65 83800064 EMAIL nikhil.iyer@ask-capital.com

https://www.askfinancials.com/

How the QUAD can help Australia in trade talks with India

At last night’s meeting in Melbourne of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Trade Minister Dan Tehan MP made reference to how the QUAD could be useful for future trade agreements.

The QUAD includes Australia, India, Japan and the USA. It focuses on supply chains and “independent and free region” – that is, a buffer to China.

But it might be a big help on trade.

India wants to use the QUAD as it steps up global trade relations.

And Australia already has FTA deals with the other two QUAD parties – Japan and USA.

The Quad is a diplomatic network of four countries committed to supporting an open, inclusive and resilient region. It complements our other bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation, including with ASEAN.

The Quad aims to respond to the defining challenges of our time, including COVID-19 vaccines, critical and emerging technology, cyber security, climate change, infrastructure, maritime security, countering disinformation, counter-terrorism, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Will India and Australia achieve “early harvest” trade deals and lay groundwork for a CECA?

Former PM Tony Abbott was instrumental in getting trade talks going again

INTO INDIA believes the two big issues facing Australia are allowing greater people movement from India to Australia, and directing more of our massive A$ 2.3 trillion pension fund sector that could be a regular source of investments in the Indian infrastructure and disinvestment story.

The key for Australia is to see India as more than a “quick sale” – Indian negotiators will be looking to push the two countries to become partners, adopting policies that streamline physical movement, including, on-arrival visas, multiple entry long term business visas, etc.

From India’s perspective, it will want to ensure that trade deficits in the post agreement period do not widen. And two, non-tariff barriers and differences in standards or recognition of qualifications do not offset higher access through the trade deal. As an Indian report recently wrote: “This is the crux of the matter.”

In the larger CECA agreement, investments from Australia will play a big role in the growth of bilateral trade between the two countries, because the growth trajectory of India will create new opportunities for Australian companies, including in areas like water management and up in future, for which Australia can be a long term reliable supplier.

In the early harvest agreement, Australia wants services included with goods – an area where India has not performed well in earlier trade deals such as with ASEAN.

Australia however just needs to accept the sensitivity of the agribusiness sector in India – the deal will fall over if Australia demands substantially lower tariffs across the board for fruits, dairy, agriculture and processed food items.

INTO INDIA RECOMMENDS Australia narrow its ambitions down to selected niche items in the agriculture sector. Finding ways that Australian expertise, technology innovation and scale can actually transform Indian agriculture sector towards value addition would give Australia a big advantage.

Finally, you can expect India could show flexibility in tariff lines related to commodities and minerals, which are needed for its growing economy and the e-mobility program. In turn, Australia could be accommodative in tariff lines related to refined petroleum, medicaments, railway vehicles, gems and jewellery, auto components and made up textile items, which it imports in any case from countries around the world, in addition to India.

Thanks to Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in collaboration with KPMG and led by Amb Anil Wadhwa, who is Former Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Emerging Markets Guru Mark Mobius – India a 50-year rally

Emerging Markets guru Mark Mobius is bullish on India

Thanks to my friend Mugunthan Siva, Managing Director, India Avenue Investment Management for spotting this one!

“India is on a 50-year rally,” even when there are quick bouts of bear markets, veteran Emerging Markets investor Mark Mobius mentioned in an interview on Bloomberg Tv. “India is possibly the place China was once 10 years in the past,” he said.

A man of his word, Mark Mobius has allotted nearly half of his emerging-markets fund to India and Taiwan to assist offset a slide in China shares that has dragged down returns from creating nations as an entire.

Mobius’ bullish view on India clashes with these of analysts at Morgan Stanley and Nomura Holdings Inc, who’ve downgraded the inventory market after the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index greater than doubled from a March 2020 low.

“Individuals say emerging-markets look unhealthy as a result of China is dragging down the index, however they’ve got to have a look at different areas similar to India which can be going up,” mentioned Mobius, who created Mobius Capital Companions LLP after a profession at Franklin Templeton Investments.

The Mobius Rising Markets Fund has a mixed 45% of its portfolio allotted to India and Taiwan, with tech {hardware} and software program the largest holdings in these markets. Indian software program companies supplier Persistent Techniques Ltd. and eMemory Know-how Inc, a Taiwanese chip know-how supplier, have been amongst its largest stakes as of end-September. The shares have each greater than doubled this year.

India chasing battery manufacturing

India plans to pitch to companies such as Tesla, Samsung and LG Energy to encourage them to invest in manufacturing batteries within the country, as it looks to establish a domestic supply chain for clean transport.

India will host five roadshows starting next month in countries including the United States, Germany, France, South Korea and Japan to convince battery manufacturers to set up local production.

Tesla, LG Energy and Samsung are among those who will be invited to attend, although a delegate list has not yet been confirmed.

Other companies targeted include Northvolt, Panasonic and Toshiba. The move is a part of USD 2.4 billion incentive program to boost battery manufacturing for which the government has begun inviting investment proposals from companies.

8 things we need to know about India

Confident young Indians like these are driving new entrepreneurial spirit

CAUTION – generalisations are just that, and you will almost always encounter those who do not fit in this list. This is offered to assist those visiting India for business, education or tourism.

1. Successful and confident

Economic success has restored Indian confidence. Indian entrepreneurs are now recognized around the world and there is a national expectation that the next Bill Gates will be an Indian. This entrepreneurial spirit permeates the nation (most dream of becoming entrepreneurs) which is now confident.

2. Never forget rural people

Indian business and political leaders may live the urban lifestyles, but they do not forget the small towns and villages at the centre of rural life – and it’s not just the politicians with an eye for votes, with major corporates such as Infosys pouring resources and funding into village developments.

3. Avoid pointing the finger

Indians become instantly passionate when challenged on subjects like their high tariffs, especially if the challenge comes from the west. The message is, point the finger at India and you can expect a robust response.

4. Oceans of patience

Indians have oceans of patience which can drive westerners crazy, but it gives them a special strength in negotiations. This patience is derived from deeply held spiritual views such as impermanence – Indians are constantly reminded of the impermanence of this life, everything changes, and they can wait when often we cannot. Who has the advantage in this situation?

5. Not just an IT miracle

Do not be fooled with the view that the Indian economic miracle is just driven by call centres and IT. Important as these are, look also at insurance, energy, retail, clean technology, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and even agriculture as areas where efficiency is producing startling results.

6. Not especially “Asian”

While India feels great about the success of “Asia”, in many ways it does not feel particularly “Asian”. First and foremost, Indians feel Indian, and to them that is vastly more relevant than being geographically part of Asia.

7. Remember the “Father of the Nation”

Whether dealing with the young or the old, in India never forget the “Father of the Nation”, Mahatma Gandhi.

8. Equity up there with democracy

Partly because of Gandhi, Indian leaders are more concerned with equity than with spreading democracy around the world – and cannot understand the enthusiasm of the USA and its allies to champion democracy in unlikely locations.

Japan investing in India – role model for Australia?

Japanese firm SoftBank is leading investment into Indian IT and startups

Japanese investment in the Indian IT and start-up ecosystem has grown fourfold since 2016, according to a report by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), in association with Nomura Research Institute (NRI).

It estimated the investment is helping create 102,000 additional jobs.

Japanese investment reached US$ 9.2 billion, mostly by large investors like Softbank.

Fintech, healthcare and mobility are the top sectors drawing investment from multiple Japanese investors followed by e-commerce, enterprise, and real estate.

Japanese policymakers see India as a trustworthy partner for accelerating Japan’s digital transformation and began investing strongly in Indian tech start-ups since 2016.

Which raises the question for Australia – can India become a favoured investment location as Aussie companies strive for next level transformation?