Spoiled party? Make amends! ~ By Sharmila Joshi

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For the first time in three months Nifty closed below the 5000 level on 8th May2012.  From the disastrous sell-off in December 2011 that had taken Nifty to 4555, 2012 has been a better year.  Indian markets found favor among Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs).  The risk-on trade  meant that as FII’s were sanguine about the developments in their own geographies they were willing to invest money in riskier/ emerging markets, India too got its share of this inflow and we saw FII’s being buyers to the tune of eleven thousand crores in January and a huge figure of twenty five thousand crores in February when Nifty made a high of 5621.

So what spoiled the party for us?  And where do we go from here?

While at the heart of all the trouble lies with what is happening domestically.  The lack of policy action has caused lot of despondency in those who follow the India story.  The expected FDI in multi-brand retail fell through, the FDI in aviation is as of now still to come.  And we haven’t even begun to talk of what ails the power sector.

The hike in petrol and diesel rates was also put on hold and diesel getting deregulated does not look likely in the near future.

By the time budget day rolled by the overall enthusiasm was on a low, the announcement of GAAR (General Anti-Avoidance Rules) led to increasing discomfort and uncertainty among FII’s and we saw liquidity begin to dry up and come down to seven thousand odd crores much lower than the February number of twenty five thousand crores, and in April this became a negative meager five hundred sixty eight crores showing how volumes had dried up.

Not even the announcement of a repo rate cut in March by 50 basis points to 8% from 8.5% could bring in the cheer.  Adding to our woes was the way the rupee behaved – on 9th May 2012 it hit an uncomfortable level of 53.83 triggering worries that it was headed to 57 against the dollar.  RBI announced the release of 50% of the funds held EEFC Accounts (Exchange Earner’s Foreign Currency), this will mean about $2.5 billion dollars and this should help the rupee recover a bit.  It also signals that RBI will be actively looking at what else they can do to curb currency weakening situation.

Europe is going through its own turmoil, from US there are mixed cues from the data points that have led market followers to believe that the recovery is not a done deal and we are still some months away from it.
Some things are beginning to look better.  While the market may have disregarded the interest rate cut this is a positive and its effect will be felt over the next couple of quarters as this starts showing up in the interest rate sensitive play – banking, autos, infra, real estate and capital goods.  And any betterment in this will certainly bring back investor interest.

Crude is also cooling off, Brent had gone to $128 in February but this has seen it come down to $112 in May – the hike in Brent was negating the drop we had seen in inflation but now that it is on a downward move this too will be a positive.

GAAR has been deferred by a year.  Also several contentious issues in it will be addressed is what we have been promised.  Hopefully this will soothe nerves and when we see a resumption of the risk-on trade India will get its fair share of flows.

We believe that market draw downs should be used to build a portfolio.  A lot of price erosion has happened in the past year or so especially in the Banking space and the Infrastructure sector.  Given that we have just seen an interest rate cut RBI has signaled that they acknowledge that growth too is important and that inflation is under control.  The very high Current Account Deficit is however a limiting factor, it therefore remains to be seen what moves will be taken to jump start infrastructure projects and growth.   But valuations are now at level where we can start making a basket of stocks and buy these at dips so that we get a good portfolio at good prices too!

Company

CMP

Target

% Chg

ICICI BANK LTD

814.2

1130

28%

BOB

641.1

960

33%

Federal Bank

409.9

510

20%

Syndicate Bank

90.8

144

37%

Karur Vyasa

394.3

455

13%

IL&FS Transportation

169.4

220

23%

Sadbhav Engineering

134.1

170

21%

Average

25.00%

(prices as of 10th May 2012)

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JEERA ~ The investment demand may pick up!

India is home to world spices and always been renowned for its best and different spices. Being the largest producer, consumer & exporter, India remains to be dominating player in the world market. Jeera is the second most popular spice in the world after pepper. It has a significant demand for its distinctive aroma and especially in the places where spicy food is preferred.

India enjoys lions share in Jeera global production with around 69% contribution. Apart from India, Syria (8%), Iran (4%), Turkey (4%) and China (5%) are the major producers. Some other countries like Egypt, Pakistan, and Latin America etc also produce Jeera but in small quantity, which is being consumed domestically with no tradable surplus. Jeera arrival at other origins starts from June/July and ends in September, while in India it starts from February and last till March. Global demand for Jeera is around at 75000-80000 MT. Annual consumption of Jeera in India is around 1.14-1.20 Lakh MT while around 25000-30000 MT gets exported annually since last three years. In Syria and turkey only 10 % of the crop is for domestic consumption.

Arrival of Indian crop starts from February and last till April. This early arrival in comparison to other Jeera producing countries India enjoys the supply gap advantage because of none/less availability at other venues. Gujarat and Rajasthan states of India contribute 90% of total Jeera production, remaining part is being cultivated in UP, Punjab & Tamil Nadu.

Domestic Demand and Supply Scenario

Year Carry Forward Stock production Domestic Consumption Exports Cary out Stocks
2008-09

82350

152000

135000

58800

40550

2009-10

40550

176500

138000

47000

32050

2010-11

32050

190000

152000

35000

35050

2011-12E

35050

218000

168000

41500

43500

Production this year is expected to see a rise as key growing areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan have witnessed favourable weather condition post sowing.

Seasonality Patterns

Jeera price seasonality indicates that prices start moving up from March and it will peak during July month of every year. Unlike other agricultural commodities, good export demand will be seen for Jeera during peak arrivals season and at the same time quality will also be good during this time.

OUTLOOK

Due to expectation of bumper crop in current season we expect exports demand may go up as the subdued prices will attract export demand. The weak rupee is also another major supportive factor that has helped the Indian exporters to provide competitively lower prices in the international market. Domestic demand will be another key fact that will support the prices as the ongoing marriage season will push up the demand. The arrival pressure is expected to ease off in the near term as harvesting season in the major producing areas comes to an end. Farmers are currently holding back their stock as they expect prices to firm up as the harvest season ends. Going forward with above mentioned factors prices are likely to go remain firm in the coming months and test levels of 13,300-13,600.