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India has been and will always look expensive: Aashish Sommaiyaa

The global environment continues to be complex, which is why Sommaiyaa expects there will be downgrades and earnings growth will be scaled down to low double-digits instead of 15-16 percent.

January 02, 2023 / 02:15 PM IST

India has been – and will always appear – expensive because of the premium on democracy and free markets. State-owned enterprises in indices have the lowest weightage compared those in other emerging markets, Aashish Sommaiyaa, executive director and CEO of WhiteOak Capital Asset Management Company, said in an interview with Moneycontrol’s Nickey Mirchandani.

He expects the first half of calendar 2023 to be similar to last year as concerns over the US economy, the collateral damage in Europe on account of the Russia-Ukraine war, and resurgent cases of COVID-19 in China continue to shape sentiment. These factors could lead to some correction in the first half, he said. Edited excerpts:

The Indian markets were the fifth-largest in the world with $3.5 trillion capitalisation in 2022. What’s your assessment now?

Aashish P Sommaiyaa: 2022 was quite a rollercoaster – geopolitics, the concern over the US economy, collateral damage in Europe because of what’s happening in Ukraine, and of late, China. I think multiple things have kind of troubled the markets. Also, there has been quite a strong sector rotation in the markets… While the Nifty has been making new highs, you can clearly see that people’s portfolios are not necessarily making new highs. So, I think that it's been a challenging year…