JPMorgan Says Buy the Dip If India Poll Volatility Hits Stocks

(Bloomberg) -- Investors should use any swings in Indian stocks during the weekslong election as an opportunity to buy, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s private banking unit.

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The South Asian nation, which has been a favorite pick among investors looking away from China, is set to kick off nationwide polls from Friday with votes to be counted on June 4.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party is widely expected to win a third term, which will help his administration continue its focus on modernizing infrastructure and boost manufacturing. Indian equities have risen to records this year following a rally driven by robust economic growth.

“We remain convinced of the structural growth opportunity in Indian equities,” Alexander Wolf, head of Asia investment strategy at JPMorgan Private Bank wrote in a note. “Long-term investors could be at least ‘neutral’ relative to the benchmark, and a strategic ‘overweight’ is warranted in our view.”

Read more: Calm Over Polls Leaves India Option Traders Exposed to Surprises

The stellar rally has made India’s $4.5 trillion stock market among the most expensive in the world. The MSCI India Index trades at about 23 times next year’s expected earnings, exceeding the multiple for even US equities.

Read: Ashmore Counters Consensus With Big Bet on China Over India

The stretched valuation has prompted some global asset managers to reduce their allocations to India despite the country emerging as the most preferred investment destination in Asia ahead of larger markets like China and Japan in a recent Bloomberg survey.

Indian stocks are “not attractive valuation-wise but they also do not appear euphoric at the moment,” Wolf said. “For countries with high future growth potential and a track record of impressive earnings, a higher multiple makes sense.”

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