If your trade had just won 171m votes, you, too, might be feeling rather confident that it would ultimately pay off. And a politically driven bet on India’s stock market has already been one of this year’s best emerging-market investments.
Since the Bharatiya Janata party selected Narendra Modi as its candidate for prime minister last September, the Sensex has returned nearly 40 per cent. Buying a rumour of political transformation before last week’s election was an easier bet than calling China or Russia correctly so far in 2014.
That was before the BJP gained a rare absolute majority of seats last week. (It won almost a third of the 551m strong popular vote.) So it might look like the moment to double down, given the size of the mandate. The investment case is now a bet on something far trickier than an election, however: actual reform.
A further bet would not get much help from valuations, which are neither cheap nor overpriced. Even after its rally, the Sensex is only trading at 16 times its forward earnings, bang on its five-year average. But that is, well, average. Infrastructure and power names might seem especially obvious bets if one of Mr Modi’s first actions is to free up capital spending: Coal India shares rose 14 per cent on Monday. The state-owned producer requires new railways to export its coal. But it trades at 14 times forward earnings, alongside Reliance Industries, a power conglomerate that has also long awaited certainty.
A better bet then would be a sector that has also suffered from the state’s dead hand, is cyclical and has long-term exposure to a richer middle class: publicly owned banks. State Bank of India still trades less than 10 times, against 22 times for HDFC, a private peer. Reform is in government sights. Now there’s a vote for transformation in India.
自从印度人民党(Bharatiya Janata party)去年9月推选纳伦德拉?莫迪(Narendra Modi)为总理候选人以来，印度股指Sensex已上升了近40%。在上周大选点票前依据印度政坛“变天”的传言买入，比2014年迄今正确操盘中国和俄罗斯股市更容易。
继续押注得不到估值方面的太多帮助，目前股市估值既不便宜也不算贵。即便在此轮涨势之后，Sensex的预期市盈率也只是16倍，恰好是该指数过去5年的平均值。但这毕竟是平均值。押注基础设施和能源股可能是显而易见的——如果莫迪的首批举措之一是放行资本支出：印度煤炭(Coal India)股票周一上涨14%。这家国有煤炭生产商需要新的铁路来出口煤炭。但它的预期市盈率是14倍，与信实工业公司(Reliance Industries)相同，后者也是一家对政治确定性期盼已久的能源企业集团。
那么更好的选择将是一个同样深受政府官僚体制之苦的行业，该行业具有周期性，且对较富裕的中产阶级有长期敞口：公有制银行。印度国家银行(State Bank of India)市盈率仍不到10倍，其私营部门的竞争对手住房开发金融公司(HDFC)则有22倍市盈率。政府有意改革。现在是为印度转型投票的机会。