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Home > Business > Special

'We remain positive on India for medium term'

May 24, 2006

Rukhshad Shroff, Fund Manager at JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management, remains positive on India for themedium term. India still seems attractive, though there is no change in fundamentals, he says.

Shroff also commented that Indian companies' earnings have been upgraded. The company hasbought Indian stocks in the last 10 days.

Excerpts from CNBC-TV18's exclusive interview with Rukhshad Shroff:

What are your observations about the markets in the last ten days and how much more do you expect?

The first thing to note is that what we have seen is not an India specific or isolated correction. This has been a global phenomenon so it's not just restricted to emerging markets. Markets like Brazil, Argentina, Jakarta and Russia are all down, more than 10 per cent in the last one month and India is also being affected by that. So its risk appetite has changed in the short term.

However, from my vantage point, which is at JP Morgan Fleming, this is an attractive opportunity. Primarily because we see no change in fundamentals, in fact in April the earnings in India have been upgraded after the quarterly result announcement and that is a positive underpinning for Indian stocks in the medium to long-term.

So what you had is a robust economy, upgrades to earnings in India and valuations have come in between 10-20 per cent, and this in our view is an attractive buying opportunity. In the short-term, these volatility concerns may continue, I am not an expert on that but over the medium to long-term we continue to remain quite positive on India.

In the intermediate term, do you expect markets like India to see an outflow of funds?

One has to bear in mind that India has been a very big beneficiary of large flows of global risk taking appetite. We saw that in 2005 and again witnessed it in the early part of 2006. In the short-term, there is a possibility of perhaps thehot money leaving.

But I can say with some confidence that there is a lot of money globally waiting for action, particularly in India and I am certain that over the next few months one will see people using this as an opportunity. Certainly at JF we are.

What have you been doing in the last fortnight and when things turned a bit murky? Have you pared down any of your India positions at all? Have you bought at all in the last four days using the fall?

The part that I manage is India dedicated money, we were fully invested with a little bit of cash. We have used that to buy and on balance over the last ten days, which havebeen somewhat turbulent, we have been net buyers of Indian stocks at JF.

In some stocks, we may have trimmed positions and in some stocks, we may have added, depending on what the opportunity was but overall we have been net buyers.

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