07 April 2015 13:48:32 IST

Markets ‘resigned’ to slow recovery: StanChart

Investors derive optimism from factors like changes in the monetary policy framework which makes the Reserve Bank an inflation-targeting central bank

Foreign investors are very optimistic, owing to lack of alternatives

India’s real growth remains “very elusive” and markets have “resigned” to a slower recovery, while foreign investors are still optimistic for want of alternatives, Standard Chartered has said.

Challenging times

“A lot of macro parameters have improved for sure, but growth has been very elusive. The high new GDP numbers are puzzling. But on other active parameters, things still look to be challenging,” Standard Chartered Managing Director and Regional Research Head for South Asia Samiran Chakraborty said.

“The way we thought that growth will come back, it now appears that both the markets and analysts have resigned to the fact that the recovery will be much slower than anticipated,” he added.

Foreign investors are very optimistic, he said while attributing this to lack of alternatives and also their ability to see-through advantages the country has in the medium term, Chakraborty said, drawing from his recently concluded tour of investor meetings across the world.

Revision of growth rates

A revision in the computation of GDP growth showed growth of 6.9 per cent in FY 2014, from the earlier 5 per cent. The Government has been saying the country is the fastest growing economy in the world and is on course to clip at 7.4 per cent in the just-concluded fiscal. However, factory output data, core sector numbers and exports and imports are all heading south.

On optimism of foreign investors, Chakraborty said: “Part of the reason is the so-called TINA factor (there is no alternative). But part of it is also the fact that sitting 10,000 km away, they can actually take a slightly medium-term perspective on us which is tougher for us sitting right here.”

Investor optimism

Investors derive optimism from factors like changes in the monetary policy framework which makes the Reserve Bank an inflation-targeting central bank, he said, adding that they also get the comfort that current account deficit is under control, among others.

When asked about what are the concerns being voiced by international investors, Chakraborty said one big concern is how fast a democracy can work.

Reform agenda

“One of the concerns is that how fast can a democracy work, at what point of time will the government be forced to turn more populist, can reforms continue for long?” he said.

He further said that stiff political opposition, even from within the ruling front, to the issues being sought to be incorporated in the Land Acquisition Act or minimum support prices or rise in rural wages are things which investors are watching.