Even as the Sensex and Nifty hit fresh highs in recent times ahead of the Lok Sabha election results, Europe’s largest asset manager Aberdeen Standard says that FIIs have taken huge exposures on expectations of Modi winning the elections. “FIIs are working with the base case scenario of Narendra Modi coming back as Prime Minister again,” Hugh Young, Managing Director, Aberdeen Asset Management Asia said in an interview to CNBC TV18. The investment giant has an overweight position in India for the last 25 years. Standard Life Aberdeen plc manages a whopping $ 643.3 billion in assets, making it the largest active manager in UK and one of the largest in Europe. Foreign investors have pumped in a whopping Rs 67,705 crore in equities so far since February.
Asked whether he would increase position in case of a Modi win, Young said that the most important thing in the aftermath of the election is the implementation of policies. “We have dedicated India portfolios, and an increase in allocation would depend on what’s happening around the world as well,” he added.
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In case PM Modi doesn’t win the elections, it would be important to see what shape the government takes, he said. However, Young observed that Aberdeen has been overweight in India for the last two decades despite the government in the centre, rather than because of the government. But, a government that implements all the right policies would give tailwinds to the India story, he said. According to Young, one of the key concerns with regard to India is that the earnings growth has not come through. “Certain sectors have seen hiccups, and there is still no strong evidence of recovery in earnings,” he said.
Taking stock of his recent stock investments in the country, Young said that Aberdeen has held Gruh Finance for more than a year now. IT giants Infosys, TCS too are part of the firm’s top 10 holdings. These IT scrips may not continue to give stellar returns going forward, as they have been rated downwards, and growth begins to slow down. “Clearly the stocks (TCS and Infosys) have been rated downwards, the days of their hey-day growth are slowing down..They have to change and adapt, and it’s getting no easier,” he added.