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Business News/ Markets / Stock Markets/  Lok Sabha Election 2024: Nifty 50 may see a rally to 23,000, but can that last longer? Bernstein answers
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Lok Sabha Election 2024: Nifty 50 may see a rally to 23,000, but can that last longer? Bernstein answers

Lok Sabha Election 2024: Bernstein analyses four scenarios post-Lok Sabha elections. Depending on the BJP's seat range, there may be varying market reactions. Higher seats for the BJP could lead to a market rally, while lower seats may result in heavy profit booking.

File photo: The Indian stock market may see a short-term rally either leading into the Lok Sabha elections or the week after the results, according to Bernstein. AFP PHOTO/ PUNIT PARANJPE (AFP)Premium
File photo: The Indian stock market may see a short-term rally either leading into the Lok Sabha elections or the week after the results, according to Bernstein. AFP PHOTO/ PUNIT PARANJPE (AFP)

Lok Sabha Election 2024: The Indian stock market may see a short-term rally either leading into the Lok Sabha elections or the week after the results, potentially making the Nifty 50 breach the 23,000 mark. This short-term rally may be followed by a profit booking as the reality of execution and valuations emerge, according to Bernstein.

Bernstein expects sectors such as infra, manufacturing, domestic cyclical, financials, and SOEs (state-owned enterprises) to lead, while consumer and IT will lag. For a few days, SMIDs (small and midcaps) may do better than large caps, said Bernstein.

The final two phases of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election 2024 are scheduled for May 25 and June 1. Vote counting will begin on June 4, with the final results expected by the evening of the same day.

Also Read: Will Indian share market continue to correct before Lok Sabha election 2024 result? Experts list out 28 stocks to buy

Bernstein, in its report dated May 21, underscored that the decisive victory for the BJP-led NDA in the ongoing Lok Sabha election 2024 would significantly boost India's economic growth by ensuring political stability, enabling the nation to catch up with its major Asian peers.

Highlighting the importance of policy continuity at the Centre, the financial firm strongly argued for the necessity of a third term for Narendra Modi, emphasizing the need for "Modi 3.0" in India.

"To benefit from the structural drivers, we think India has a lot of catch-up with several Asian peers. Building infrastructure, scaling up manufacturing, building a more viable export franchise, employment, and managing inflation—the list is long. With India moving from the reform cycle to the execution cycle, continuity of power remains a crucial driver for the sustainability of the macrocycle," said Bernstein in its report.

Also Read: Expert view: Don't try to time the market; expect value stocks to perform better, says Sujan Hajra of Anand Rathi

The four scenarios

Bernstein expects the continuity of power at the Centre after the Lok Sabha elections. It analysed four potential scenarios of the Lok Sabha election outcome that will significantly impact the market and the Indian economy.

Case 1: The first scenario is when the BJP gets more than 290 seats and the NDA alliance gets more than 340 seats. In this scenario, there may be an immediate market rally followed by short-term profit booking. Nifty may give a high single-digit or low double-digit returns this year, said Bernstein.

On the economic front, the infra and capex runs will continue, and there may be a heavy push to manufacturing. Inflation may vary seasonally due to food items but will mostly stay in RBI's comfort range of 2-6 per cent.

Case 2: If the BJP gets 260-290 seats and the NDA gets 290-340 seats, there could be mild profit booking in the near term. In this scenario, Nifty may give high single-digit returns for this year.

On the economic front, there could be a slowdown in capex, and inflation will mostly stay in the RBI's comfortable range of 2-6 per cent.

Case 3: The BJP gets seats in the range of 240-260, with the overall seats for the NDA around 270-290. In this case, there may be moderate to heavy profit booking in the near term, and the market may deliver high single-digit returns for this year.

Infra spending could be reduced, and the government's focus may shift to freebies and possibly tax breaks.

There may not be a significant impact of freebies or tax breaks on inflation. Any surging food inflation will continue being clamped down by export bans, the opening of buffer stocks, etc., said Bernstein.

Case 4: If the BJP gets less than 240 seats and the NDA misses the majority mark by getting less than 270 seats, the domestic market may see heavy profit booking in the near term. In this case, Bernstein expects low or negligible returns for markets this year.

Bernstein said there could be drastic effects on infra in the near term, and there may also be a near-term decline in business sentiment.

"10 kg free food distribution will lead to depletion of stocks and UBI/MGNREGA wage increase will raise demand for other goods. Inflation may go beyond 6 per cent in the near term. Heavy government outlay on salaries, increased MGNREGA wages and UBI will significantly increase fiscal deficit - likely to go beyond 5.2 per cent for current as well as the next fiscal," said Bernstein.

Different election outcomes and their impacts on the Indian stock market and economy.
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Different election outcomes and their impacts on the Indian stock market and economy. (Bernstein)

Also Read: Elections 2024 & Stock Markets: ‘Stop predicting, start…’ says Deepak Shenoy of Capitalmind

Modi 1.0/2.0 versus UPA 1/2

In its report, Bernstein highlighted the following five major differences between Modi's last 10-year rule and the UPA rule from 2004 to 2014.

(1) In the past decade, the Modi government attempted structural reforms across sectors.

(2) The last decade has seen the efficient use of capital.

"Populism has given way to fiscal discipline. Subsidies have grown flat at 4 per cent versus 19 per cent in the ten years before, benefiting capex, which has shot up six times. The execution and targeting have been strong despite reduced subsidies," said Bernstein.

(3) Bernstein also pointed out that the government has displayed better inflation management in the last decade.

"Despite supply shocks, geopolitical tensions and a global pandemic, prices have been well contained, with inflation not allowed to wander off to double digits like it frequently did post-GFC (global financial crisis)," said Bernstein.

(4) Creating new drivers, such as manufacturing, has also been a remarkable positive, according to Bernstein.

"Active efforts are visible, and frequent course corrections were done to ensure visible improvement happens; the push towards FDI and manufacturing has yielded some results: electronics production has ballooned three times, with production exceeding imports," said Bernstein.

(5) On the front of employment, Bernstein said instead of filling government jobs and creating inefficiency, the focus has been on being a facilitator by driving opportunities.

Disclaimer: The views and recommendations above are those of individual analysts, experts, and brokerage firms, not Mint. We advise investors to consult certified experts before making any investment decisions.

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Published: 23 May 2024, 01:09 PM IST
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