One of the worst days for Indian markets in recent memory hasn't fazed market mavens yet. In a conversation with Sachin P Mampatta, Ramesh Damani, member, Bombay Stock Exchange, explains why he doesn't feel this is the end of the bull market, how he's approaching his portfolio and his take on market sentiment. Excerpts:
What is the sense that you are getting on the ground?
There is foreign investor selling but there did not seem to be any underlying panic. The markets fell, but there was no panic as such.
What do you make of the worries over crude?
Oil going down should help India. It is unclear why this should be seen as a negative for India.
There is a sense that it may signal a slowdown in major emerging markets, especially China?
I don't think oil is going down because of a slowdown. Oil is going down because oil's fundamentals have changed in terms of supply and demand.
But would you expect the risk aversion seen in commodities to spread to Indian equities?
I think it's a good buying opportunity. I think I would not be scared, I would probably step up to the plate tomorrow and buy something. I view this as a strong correction and nothing beyond that.
Markets were very bad today (Tuesday), so we'll just have to watch for the market to make a bottom and then bounce from that bottom and see how it bounces. I'm surprised that we are down 900 points. I'm trying to find an explanation, there is no reason that we should be down 900 points.
Is there a case to be made for further downside?
There is nothing to suggest that the bull marketis over. The market is not overleveraged, nor are the IPOs very heavy. None of the classic signs of a market on a top is present today.
Bull markets do show changes in direction, but typically the markets recover. Once you get further into January people will be looking at the Budget, people will be looking at global flows. I think the market will recover, at least that's the thesis that I am working on.
The only gainer today was consumption-driven stock, is this part of a larger play towards defensives that may come up in the days ahead?
I think any theme of a return to the defensives may be overstated. My personal feeling is that the market will reward aggressive stands. Today is a one-off thing. You want to bet on people who are looking to grow their businesses. So I don't think defensives will work.