Last week’s reversal puts markets under pressure

Markets were on a roller coaster ride last week and the optimism and bullishness of the previous week just vanished. We had what could be called a reversal of sorts on Monday where markets first gained and then lost significant ground. To add to the losses, Friday was another bad day. The week saw BSESENSEX lose 1,130.13 points or 2.81 per cent to close at 38,357.18 points while NIFTY lost 313.75 points or 2.69 per cent to close at 11,333.85 points. The broader markets saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 lose 2.77 per cent, 2.64 per cent and 2.69 per cent respectively. The previous week’s top sectoral gainer was the top loser this week. BSEBANKEX lost 6.30 per cent and Axis Bank was down 10.67 per cent.
The highs made on Monday were 40,010.17 points on the BSESENSEX and 11,794.25 points on NIFTY. These would act as significant resistance point in the immediate future. If markets are to continue the uptrend, they need to cross these points and then sustain the gains. This means a minimum rally of 1,700 points on BSESENSEX and 450 points on NIFTY. Markets gained on two of the five trading sessions, but the sharp losses on Monday and Friday ensured that there could be no recovery on a weekly basis.
The Indian Rupee gained 24 paise or 0.33 per cent to close at Rs 73.14 to the US Dollar. Dow Jones lost 520.56 points or 1.82 per cent to close at 28,133.31 points. USA is now into the election mode with just about two months left for the Presidential elections where the incumbent Donald Trump is fighting Joe Biden. Which way the elections would go is anybody’s guess as this appears a close election.
The week ahead sees the launch of two primary market offerings. The first issue is from Happiest Mind Technologies Limited which opens on Monday, September 7 and closes on Wednesday, September 9. The issue comprises of a fresh issue of Rs 110 crore and an offer for sale of 3.566 crore shares in a price band of Rs 165-166. The company is promoted by Ashok Soota, well known for promoting and founding Mindtree earlier. The company is offering shares at a PE multiple of 30.8 to 31 times its diluted earnings of Rs 5.36 for the year ended March 2020. Though the issue looks expensive when compared with its peers like TCS at 26.1 PE and Infosys at 24.3 times, this has become the norm with almost all issues that tap the markets being offered at higher valuations that the per group. On top of this there is a grey market premium of Rs 110, which means an additional PE of 20.5 times making the market price a steep 50.5 times. The issue would be oversubscribed as HNI’s would borrow and apply. It’s time for the regulator to look at this category of investors who borrow money and apply and throw all conventional norms to the wind with margins of just 0.5 per cent to 3 per cent. They also disrupt the supply demand equation.
The second issue is from Route Mobile Limited which opens on Wednesday the 9th of September and closes on Friday, September 11. The price band is Rs 345-350. The company offers a platform for communication in all forms between the service provider and the end user or customer. A simple illustration of the activity that the company does is the OTP that comes to a user when a credit card transaction is done and the subsequent email or SMS confirming the transaction amount. This is what Route Mobile is into. The issue consists of a fresh issue of Rs 240 crore and an offer for sale of Rs 360 crore. The PE multiple is 25.31 at the top end of the price band. There are no comparable competitors for Route Mobile. The grey market for the company is around Rs 190 which means an additional PE of 13.7 making a total PE of 39 times.
In both the issues investors who get shares allotted would not only be lucky, but also make money. Whether they would make money by buying from the grey market looks a little dicey simply because the PE at which they would be buying would make profit a very tough proposition.
The number of people affected by Covid-19 globally rose to 2,70,69,984 people with 8,83,780 deaths and 1,91,70,886 people having recovered. In India, the number of affected people rose sharply to 41,14,773 people with 70,704 deaths and 31,80,999 people having recovered. Compared to the previous week, the number of new patients globally was 18,95,058 people with 36,949 deaths and 16,59,024 people having recovered. In India, there were 5,68,068 new patients, 7,014 deaths and 4,66,004 people having recovered.
The markets had a bad week last week and seem to have lost their momentum and come under pressure after two bad days. To regain momentum, they need to gain quite sharply which looks difficult currently. The best that can happen for markets is that they turn sideways and consolidate at current levels and then begin their upward march. If on the contrary they lose further ground, there could be bouts of selling and cause further damage to the markets.
It, therefore, makes sense to use any strength in markets to sell. The strategy should be selling on rallies and wait for sharp dips before considering any buying opportunities. The couple of primary market offerings in the coming week and spate of another half dozen issues in the remaining fortnight of September could add to the market pressures if any of them does badly.

(Arun Kejriwal is the founder of Kejriwal Research and Investment Services. The views expressed are personal)

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