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Jul 12, 2017 12:28 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Sitting on more cash than normal; focusing on stock-specific calls: Max Life

Mihir Vora of Max Life said that one can always look for stock-specific opportunities. He finds housing theme interesting and bets on sectors accordingly.

With the market surging to fresh record highs and retail investors continuing to pump money, fund managers have been forced to sit on excess cash. The current high levels for the market aren’t helping them with taking big stock calls in the market too.

Max Life Insurance said that it is taking a stock-specific opportunity than taking a big asset call. “At current levels, we are not ploughing incremental cash flows,” Mihir Vora, Director and CIO, Max Life Insurance, told CNBC-TV18 in an interview. Normally, he explained, the cash levels are in the range of 2-5 percent, which is normal. “We are at levels higher than that,” he told the channel.

So, should one wait for correction right now? Vora is not pencilling in a sharp correction right now. Stock-specific opportunities in mid and small caps are being looked at along with being conservative in terms of allocation, he added.

Speaking on sectors, he said that the consumption-linked themes are playing in the past few quarters. Vora has now turned overweight on staples now. The sector earlier had high raw material prices, which over the past few months, have come down and there is a possibility of earnings upgrade too.

Among non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), he said that its exposure had trimmed, but added that as a theme, it offers good and sustainable growth. But right now, the valuations are higher, he said.

Vora remains a little underweight on pharmaceuticals, but finds housing theme interesting. He believes that the sector will be in focus on the back of government’s efforts on affordable housing, among others.
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