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Here's Why India ETFs Are Still Worth Buying

Sanghamitra Saha
Is (PSEC) Outperforming Other Finance Stocks This Year?

It’s been a great year for India ETFs. The minimum returns offered by any India ETF hovered around 30% this year (as of Oct 31, 2017) against 14.1% returns offered by the S&P 500 and 31.6% delivered by iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF EEM. Investors might be surprised to know that the highest returns were even more than 48% (read: Best-Performing ETF Areas of October).

Decent GDP data defying demonetization, the victory of the pro-growth prime minister’s party in some state elections, implementation of a goods-and-services tax or GST from July, and still-solid inflows from retail investors are driving Indian stocks.

Columbia India Consumer ETF INCO, Columbia India Infrastructure Index Fund INXX and iShares MSCI India Small-Cap ETF SMIN have high P/E ratios of 34.15x, 25.18x and 23.29x, respectively. No doubt, overvaluation concerns may start bothering investors (read: Buy 5 Top-Ranked ETFs on High P/E for Further Gains).

Look At Still-Low P/B

Ridham Desai, Head-India Equity Research and Managing Director, Morgan Stanley, prefers to look at P/B ratio than P/E because the latter has a “lot of cyclicality.” According to him, India investing has experienced a P/B ratio in the range of 2x to 5.5x over the last 25 years and the present P/B ratio is 3x. This implies room to run in India equities and ETFs.

Bullish Analysts Comments

Morgan Stanley went on to explain that the India government’s emphasis on digitalization may result in a threefold rise in India’s gross domestic product (GDP) and equity market capitalization in the coming 10 years. Almost 90% of the market gains would be realized in the coming five years itself, as per Morgan Stanley.

Increasing acceptance of e-Commerce and dynamism in the financial sector, rise of middle-income group and higher consumption growth are likely to be instrumental in future growth. Over the next decade, domestic-led sectors like financials and consumers will take an upper hand while foreign-facing sectors like software services and pharmaceuticals may slow down as India’s growth will likely be faster than the global economy, as per Ridham Desai, quoted on BloombergQuint.

Fiscal Second-Quarter to Bounce Back

Plus, a report by State Bank of India indicated that India's fiscal second-quarter growth may offer some positive surprise (could be more than 7%), following three-year low growth registered in the first quarter of fiscal 2018. Factors including manufacturing indices, passenger and freight traffic and corporate earnings during the quarter should contribute to stronger growth.

All these make it important to look at these India ETFs and stocks.

ETF Picks

EG Shares India Consumer INCO

As the consumer segment is expected to grow meaningfully, this consumer ETF is a must buy. The fund has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy).

VanEck Vectors India Small-Cap Index ETF SCIF

Since domestically focused stocks will get precedence, investors should bet on Zacks Rank #2 fund SCIF.

iShares India 50 ETF INDY

Banks take about 26.2% of the portfolio, making it a good choice for India investing, at least if we go by Morgan Stanley’s preference for financial stocks. 

Stock Picks

MakeMyTrip Limited MMYT

It is an online travel service company which offers travel products and solutions in India and the United States. It has Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and belongs Zacks Industry Rank in the top 28%.

Yatra Online Inc. YTRA

This is a provider of online travel agency services. The stock has a Zacks Rank #3. Its Zacks Industry Rank is in the top 36%.

Azure Power Global Ltd. AZRE

The Zacks Rank #3 Azure Power Global Limited is a producer and developer of solar energy. However, the Zacks Industry Rank is in the bottom 31%.

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MakeMyTrip Limited (MMYT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
ISHARS-EMG MKT (EEM): ETF Research Reports
ISHARS-SP INDIA (INDY): ETF Research Reports
ISHARS-M IND SC (SMIN): ETF Research Reports
COL-INDIA CNSMR (INCO): ETF Research Reports
VANECK-INDIA SC (SCIF): ETF Research Reports
COL-INDIA INFRA (INXX): ETF Research Reports
Azure Power Global Ltd. (AZRE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Yatra Online, Inc. (YTRA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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