India is Asia’s best post-Covid story: Jefferies equity head

2021-02-12 22:30:00

MUMBAI: The global head of equity strategy for international broking house Jefferies, Christopher Wood, has said that India was the best post-Covid recovery story in Asia. This, combined with the budget announcements on February 1 that led to a renewed bull rally in the stock market, and the sharp drop in Covid infection numbers, helped India stand out among all the Asian countries.
In Asia, “the Indian Budget…has triggered another run-up in that stock market, most particularly in bank stocks”. “With Covid cases in India now 88% off their peak amid growing hopes of herd immunity, India looks right now Asia’s best post-Covid recovery story,” Wood wrote in his widely read strategy report titled Greed & Fear.
From its March 30, 2020 multi-year low at 17,249 points, the Nifty bank index has now more than doubled to 36,109 points. That’s because the Budget proposed an assets management company to take over bad loans of Indian banks to release funds for their regular lending business.
Since PSU banks have most of the bad loans, the new structure is expected to benefit these lenders more that the private ones. SBI, the largest PSU bank, led the rally. A Budget proposal to privatise two PSU banks also helped the rally, market players said.

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