Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty closed at their lowest levels in over three years on Thursday as investors dumped stocks, fearing the worst for the economy and companies from the Coronavirus disruption. The most seasoned of fund managers and traders say that they have not seen a selling fury of this magnitude in more than two decades.
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Stock prices have come down to levels unimaginable just a month back. And yet few are willing to call a bottom, as authorities across the globe struggle to contain the epidemic.
So what should an investor do in such a market?
CNBC-TV18 spoke to these veteran market experts during the course of the day and this is what they had to say:
Samir Arora, Helios Capital
There is no point in trying to find a bottom. Investors should sit on the sidelines for now. We are not looking at any bargain buying for now. Economic recovery will take longer than the stock market recovery.
Arvind Sanger, Geosphere
There will be more pain in India (Indian market), valuations are not attractive yet. We are buying, but very slowly. One can look at high-quality banks and companies with exposure to the rural economy. I am positive on companies related to healthcare directly and indirectly. Banks’ valuations are getting attractive, but investors seem to be lacking confidence.
Sunil Singhania, Abakkus Asset Management
Even die-hard optimists like me are finding it difficult to invest until stability returns. It is hard to call this a bottom, but valuations certainly are compelling. Have started deploying money in the last 2-3 days. We will buy more once volatility reduces.
Andrew Holland, Avendus Capital
No matter how low interest rates are, there is no cash flow to service the loans. Companies will have a cash flow and payment problem due to CoVid-19 disruption. Even if there is a ban on short selling, it will not work in the present environment.
S Naren, ICICI Prudential Asset Management
Investors must double on their investments at current valuations. This is the time to invest and forget. You will never have markets so cheap without a problem.
Venugopal Garre, Sanford Bernstein
Nifty should bottom out at 14-15 times price earning. One should look at large caps with good free cash flow and low debt. We are positive on stocks like Maruti, Reliance, TCS. Investors should focus on quality of the bank’s loan book, not valuations or growth. We are positive on Kotak Mahindra Bank and Bajaj Finance.
Ajay Srivastava, Dimensions Capital
Can't say whether this is a bottom, but stocks like HDFC Bank and Nestle are good companies to invest at this point in time.