Morgan Stanley Upgrades India’s Status To ‘Overweight’, Downgrades China

Morgan Stanley Upgrades India's Status To 'Overweight', Downgrades China

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Brokerage firm Morgan Stanley has upgraded India’s status to ‘overweight’ as it believes that the country’s reform and macro-stability agenda supports a strong capex and profit outlook. A overweight rating means that Morgan Stanley expects India’s economy to perform better in the future.

The upgrade in the backdrop of US losing AAA status and economic slowdown in China. Fitch on Tuesday downgraded the US government’s top credit rating, news agency Reuters said. According to the report, this move by the Fitch drew an angry response from the White House and surprised investors, coming despite the resolution of the debt ceiling crisis two months ago. With the downgrade, it becomes the second major rating agency after Standard & Poor’s to strip the US of its triple-A rating.

This upgrade comes just four months after Morgan Stanley previously elevated India from ‘underweight’ to ‘equal weight’ on March 31, citing factors such as reduced valuation premium and the resilient economy. Morgan said India has jumped from the sixth position to take the coveted first spot in its rankings.

“Relative valuations have become less extreme compared to last October, contributing to this meteoric rise,” the Morgan Stanley report said. The ongoing trend of a Multipolar World is driving foreign direct investment (FDI) and portfolio flows, and India’s reform-oriented and macro-stable agenda strengthens its prospects for robust capital expenditure (capex) and profitability outlook, the brokerage firm said in its report.

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Furthermore, the brokerage has also made specific sector upgrades for India, including industrials, financials, and consumer discretionary stocks, which are now rated as ‘overweight’. It expects these sectors to be major beneficiaries of India’s ongoing structural growth story. Within its Asia-Pacific Ex-Japan focus list, Morgan Stanley has added Indian stocks like Larsen & Toubro and Maruti Suzuki, while removing Titan from the list. Both Larsen & Toubro and Maruti Suzuki have also been included in the GEM (Global Emerging Markets) focus list.

India now holds the core overweight position for Morgan Stanley within the Asia Pacific Ex-Japan and Emerging Markets category. Valuation premiums for India compared to Emerging Markets and China have moderated since their peak in the previous year, but they are beginning to rise again, enhancing India’s attractiveness as an investment prospect.

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