Is India’s New Central Banker Already Fixing the Nation?

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India has been in trouble, it currency and financial markets have been roiled and its inflation is among the worst we have measured. It seems as though that all times of trouble have a recovery, and that may be happening in India. Raghuram Rajan has taken over as the head of India's central bank this week and the market is reacting as though his entrance will immediately help to foster a much-needed recovery.

Stocks have magically had a good week in India after a continuous slide, and the rupee currency even hit what appears to be 10-day high after recently settling in at all-time lows. Rajan already has released some initiatives to drive the rupee back up. His aim is to make it cheaper for India's banking sector to keep dollars with some foreign currency bank deposits. Another step is an increased swap line with Japan for trade.

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India, and much of the emerging economic market world, is somewhat at the mercy of the Federal Reserve. A sudden and abrupt end to quantitative easing is of severe concern to the international markets because it could further weaken other currencies against the dollar and drive up the cost of goods even more in these local economies.

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The Bombay Stock Exchange closed up over 1.5% at 19,270.06 on Friday, making for what was a 7.2% gain from the lowest closing price of the prior week. We already are seeing some gains take place in the key ETFs and funds as well.

WisdomTree India Earnings (EPI) is up 2.2% at $14.89, against a 52-week range of $12.99 to $20.50. This translates to a gain of 14% from the very recent lows.

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PowerShares India (PIN) is up 1.8% at $15.49, and its 52-week range is $13.50 to $19.66. That is a gain of almost 15% off the recent lows.

The India Fund Inc. (IFN) is a closed-end fund that trades often at severe discounts or premiums to the net asset value. Its gain is only 0.9% to $18.03, and the 52-week trading range of $16.88 to $24.10 implies that it has recovered only 7% off of its recent lows. It currently trades at a discount of 11% to its NAV according to CEFA.com.

The small-cap ETF for India is the Market Vectors India Small-Cap ETF (SCIF), and its gain is only 0.5% to $24.48, against a 52-week range of $22.25 to $46.60. The recovery here is only almost 9% when it is still trading at about half the price of its 52-week high.

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