Singapore: One of the world’s best known investment gurus, Jim Rogers of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, admitted in an interview that he may have been too hasty in exiting India in 2015, but says he won’t enter it now when the markets are at record highs. He says he was surprised that the government managed to get the legislation for the goods and services tax (GST) through. “It is a historic move as this has been a very contentious issue among Indian politicians for several years,” he added.
Rogers said that in addition to GST, he has also been tracking the Indian market, the best performer among the world’s 10 largest stock markets thus far in 2017. “Yes, I am impressed, and I see that the markets are at an all-time high, currency is going up—they are making new highs without me, and that does not make me happy.”
Keen as he is to enter India, Rogers says he will wait because it doesn’t make sense to enter a market when it is on a high. “I don’t want to jump on to a moving train. When you jump on to a moving train, you’ll get hurt.”
Rogers, a hedge fund manager whose investments serve as leads for many other investors, has long been an India bear. In 2014, though, soon after the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance came to power, he changed his tune.
He explains that his investments in India were driven by his understanding of Modi’s achievements in Gujarat as chief minister and policy-leanings.
“See, first I was interested in India because of his (Modi’s) record and what he said he planned to do,” he said. Then, in 2015, disappointed with the pace of progress in terms of reforms, he exited India. “He (Modi) did nothing much for two years, and I sold,” Rogers added. “Unfortunately, I sold too soon.”
If the government continues in the same lines, India can’t be ignored, Rogers said. “If Modi continues doing stuff like GST, then not just me— everybody has to pay a lot more attention to India.”