The MSCI India equity index has risen 33.2% in the last four years in rupee terms, as the accompanying chart shows. That’s a compounded annual growth rate of 7.4%, which is rather underwhelming, considering the inflation both in rhetoric and in expectations.

Nevertheless, the performance isn’t all that bad compared to its peers. The MSCI Emerging Markets Asia index, for instance, is up 33.3% over the period in local currency terms. MSCI China, however, has beaten MSCI India hands down. Ditto for the US and Japanese markets.

For foreign investors, what matters is the performance in dollar terms. Unfortunately, the return from MSCI India over the last four years is a mere 14.7%, well below some of the other Asian markets. Returns from MSCI EM Asia, measured in US dollar is up 26.4% over the period as the chart shows. Using the dollar returns yardstick, the Chinese, Japanese and US markets have done much better.

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