Although the MPC meet is likely to be a non-event, experts feel future commentary on rates will be important for the market
The market seems to be a bit cautious ahead of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)'s meeting on December 5. Experts believe the committee will likely keep the repo rate unchanged and refrain from tinkering with the cash reserve ratio (CRR).
Repo rate is the rate at which banks borrow short-term funds from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), while CRR is the share of a bank's total deposits that it has to keep in a current account with the RBI.
Although the MPC meet is likely to be a non-event, experts feel future commentary on rates and measures taken by the central bank to infuse liquidity in banks and NBFCs will be important for the market.
"The RBI MPC in its meeting due on December 3-5 will likely keep the repo rate unchanged. The more interesting part will be deliberations on liquidity (overall and sectoral) though it will not be under the ambit of the MPC to address these issues completely," Kotak Institutional Equities said in a note.
"The MPC will likely keep CRR unchanged and the RBI will continue to use OMO, FX spot intervention, and longer-tenure term repo to calibrate overall liquidity," the brokerage said.
The MPC, headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel, had changed its policy stance to 'calibrated tightening' at its previous bi-monthly meeting, ruling out further rate cuts for the time being.
However, a jump in crude oil prices and the sharp depreciation of the rupee vis-à-vis the dollar led to expectations that the central bank could increase rates further.
Two months after the October 5 monetary policy, the rupee has returned to 69 to the dollar after touching a low of 74.22. Crude oil prices have declined 30 percent since then to $58 per barrel.
Also, inflation has cooled to a 13-month low of 3.31 percent, well below RBI's medium-term inflation target of 4 percent. October was the third consecutive month in which the headline inflation number came in lower than the central bank's targeted band.
“RBI, in its policy meet in December, is not expected to touch repo rate and a status quo can be expected,” Pankaj Pandey, Head-Research, ICICIdirect.com told Moneycontrol.
“The two most important variables after inflation are crude and currency which led to a rise in fiscal and economic worries have now corrected from their peaks which provides the breather. Therefore, unless core inflation sees a material upsurge, the upcoming monetary policy can be seen as a non-event,” he said.
Harshad Patil, Chief Investment Officer, Tata AIA Life Insurance, also expects the MPC to hold the repo rate at 6.50 percent on December 5 as the RBI awaits subsequent inflation prints.
Here are 10 rate sensitive stocks that you could consider buying ahead of the event:
Analyst: DK Aggarwal, Chairman, and MD, SMC Investments and Advisors Ltd
Asian Paints is India's leading paint company and ranked among the top ten decorative coatings companies in the world.
Being one of the market leaders offering its innovative products, it is better placed to capture incremental growth in the industry on the back of its strong distribution network, cost-efficient operations, better brand positioning amongst peers.
Operating margins are likely to improve in the longer term on commencement of the newer plants, lower logistics costs, and production of high-margin water-based paints.
The company continues to invest towards infrastructure augmentation and capability development to offer a differentiated solution to the farming community.
Government’s ambitious plan to double the farm income by 2022 and fixing the minimum support prices for crops at 1.5 times the cost of production brings out a sizeable opportunity for the company.
Also, the increase in prices of higher-fertilizer-consuming crops such as paddy, soybean, and sugarcane augurs well for the company. We believe the company is well-positioned for holistic growth, led by increased volumes and higher realisations.
The company is fundamentally sound and during the September quarter, it has achieved good operating performance due to highest ever revenue growth.
According to the management of the company, it is optimistic to achieve the growth on revenue keeping its margins resilient in the coming quarters. Moreover, it plans to further consolidate the business by leveraging the existing customers and adding new customers to its portfolio.
Strong presence in the high-demand, high-occupancy micro markets of Mumbai, NCR, Bangalore, and Goa place it well to cater to rapid growth in the domestic market. Company’s performance improved in the first six months of the ongoing financial year despite uncertainties.
Indian Hotels is in the process of selling some of its non-profitable properties internationally. It sold the Boston property and leased it back. The amount was used to pare debt.
Indian Hotels’ debt has nearly halved in the last few quarters and the company plans to reduce it further by 30 percent in the next few quarters.
The company has a diversified business model and a strong focus on profit growth, widening reach in export markets and strategic alliances with global majors.
The management said they would continue to focus on exports and new markets and has aimed exports of 2 million units in FY19, up from 1.6 million units in FY18. Management feels the product mix in exports is deteriorating due to a higher share of Africa which is currently at 45 percent and is expected to increase to 50 percent.
Nigeria contributes 50 percent of Africa's volumes. In the export market, motorcycle growth is mainly driven by the African market. On the other hand, 3-wheeler (3Ws) growth is driven by new markets (contributing 25 percent of sales) such as the Philippines, Latin America, Iran, and Iraq.
The company plans to increase annual capacity in 3Ws (including quadricycles) from 840,000 units to 1,000,000 units. FY19 capex is expected at Rs 300 crore and will be utilised towards debottlenecking, R&D, dies/tooling, etc.
Analyst: Vineeta Sharma HOR at Narnolia Financial Advisors
Current GDP growth at 7.1 percent suggests tapering of growth and hence RBI should adopt a rate cut/pause for a good period of time. In this scenario, banking stocks, particularly the corporate lenders should benefit.
Already, the corporate lenders are witnessing high advances growth both due to the shift of advances from liquidity stricken NBFCs to corporate lenders and also due to the revival of capex by the government as well as private sectors.
Already, advances for corporate lenders like SBI and ICICI Bank are witnessing high growth in the last two quarters.
SBI’s advances in the last quarter grew 9 percent while ICICI Bank advances grew 12.8 percent vis-a-vis -0.1 percent by SBI and 6.3 percent by ICICI Bank in Q2Fy18. Also, the growth in advances is coming from better-rated corporate which keeps the asset quality in control going forward.
The corporate advances for Federal Bank account for 40 percent of the total books, and 70 percent comes from AAA/ AA rated corporates. Fresh slippages are slowing down and are mainly from within the company’s watchlist.
With NPA provisioning requirements slowing down and Pre Provisioning profits growing at average 12 percent, corporate lenders are expected to report high-profit growth and hence high book value growth. This should also demand re-rating of corporate lenders which are trading at multi-year low valuations.
Analyst: Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services
We believe the long-term fundamentals of the tractor industry are solid. Though in the near term the pace of central and the state government’s policy may slow down due to elections and fiscal shortage.
But, we expect the status quo on the government's fiscal discipline in the long term and 25 percent earnings CAGR over FY18-20E, inducing confidence in the stock.
Brokerage Firm: Axis Direct
Axis Direct believes that Godrej Agrovet is well placed to scale up, given presence across under-penetrated and unorganised segments of the agri-value chain coupled with its strong brand, distribution, cash flows, and R&D focus.
The management guided for lower receivables by end of FY19 and targets debt reduction by ~Rs 200 crore (currently at ~Rs 400 crore). We expect the company to be debt-free in the next couple of years.Disclaimer: The views and investment tips expressed by investment experts on moneycontrol.com are their own and not that of the website or its management. Moneycontrol.com advises users to check with certified experts before taking any investment decisions.