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BW Businessworld

Impact Of COVID 19 On The Indian Stock Markets

Drops in BSE sensitive index is temporary, and each dip provides investors with the opportunity to enter the market and earn a higher return especially for those with long term horizon.

Photo Credit : Reuters

1567054677_EKar0J_sensex_reu3470.jpg

Pre COVID-19, market capitalisation on each major exchange in India was about $2.16 trillion. The 2019 stock market rally was limited to 8-10 stocks within the large caps. The Sensex returned around 14% (excluding dividends) for the year 2019 but prominently featured blue-chip companies such as HDFC Bank, HDFC, TCS, Infosys, Reliance, Hindustan Unilever, ICICI Bank and Kotak Bank, without which Sensex returns would have been negative. However, in the start of 2020, there was overall recovery which led to both NSE and BSE traded at their highest levels ever, hitting peaks of 12,362 and 42,273 respectively. At the beginning of the year, there were close to 30 companies that were expected to file IPO’s. The market conditions were generally favourable as they witnessed record highs in mid-January.

A Comparison of Pre and Post COVID View of Indian Stock Markets

Bourses

Indexes-14 Jan 20

Indexes-23 Mar 20

Indexes-24 Apr 20

Nifty 50

12,362

7,610

9,154

Sensex

41,952

25,981

31,327



Ever since COVID 19 strike, markets loom under fear as uncertainty prevails. lt has sent markets around the world crashing to levels not witnessed since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Following the strong correlation with the trends and indices of the global market as BSE Sensex and Nifty 50 fell by 38 per cent. The total market cap lost a staggering 27.31% from the start of the year. The stock market has reflected the sentiments this pandemic unleashed upon investors, foreign and domestic alike. Companies have scaled back; layoffs have multiplied and employee compensations have been affected resulting in negligible growth in the last couple of months. Certain sector such as hospitality, tourism and entertainment have been impacted adversely and stocks of such companies have plummeted by more than 40%.

While the world has witnessed many financial crises in the past, the last one being the global recession of 2008, the current coronavirus crisis is different from the past fallouts.

In response to current turmoil, RBI and the Government of India has come up with a slew of reforms such as reductions of repo rate, regulatory relaxation by extending moratorium and several measures to boost liquidity in the system howsoever the pandemic has impacted the premise of the corporate sector. Payments deferrals, subdued loan growth, rising cases of bad loans and sluggish business conditions have impaired the growth and the health of the economic activity. Deceleration of GDP growth, demand-supply chain, cut in discretionary expenses and CAPEX has been the observed during the lockdown, which has led to falling in household incomes, marketing spends, reduced travel cost and hiring freeze.

Companies with innovative products, increasing distribution reach, technology-driven processes and healthy balance sheet would revive the growth momentum post lockdown. Lower oil prices and high capital expenditure by the government in turn creating capital which will provide a platform to flourish when we overcome COVID 19 pandemic.

As for the outlook for the market, we only need to look back at its history. Drops in BSE sensitive index is temporary, and each dip provides investors with the opportunity to enter the market and earn a higher return especially for those with long term horizon. Moreover, the higher the fluctuations, the higher chances of getting better returns. While these crises are real and it impacts the world economy, but historically, such crisis has not lasted long, as the world is competent enough to come up with answers to combat these challenges. Despite the fact that it’s hard to predict the magnitude and impact of Coronavirus on the economy, but it is certain that the markets will bounce back soon the crisis gets over. With an average annual return (CAGR) of around 15 per cent, by growing from 100 points in 1979 to over 41,000 points in 2019, Sensex has proven time and again that corrections are temporary, but growth is permanent.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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S Ravi

The author is a practising Chartered Accountant and Independent Director of Public Companies

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