WEEK ENDING JANUARY 3, 2014
Global equity markets bid a warm adieu to 2013 with strong gains in the last quarter that boosted the
annual gains. However, they had a bit of an uncertain start to the New Year leading to declines during the
week. The MSCI AC World Index moved up nearly 7% during the fourth quarter (up over 20% in 2013),
helping key indices in developed markets scale new peaks, but declined marginally for the week. EM
equities underperformed during the quarter and closed the year down 5% (MSCI EM Index). Expectations
of lower global liquidity in 2014 pushed bond yields up for the quarter and 2013 as well. During last week,
US 10 year treasuries closed around 3% levels. Notwithstanding the strength in gold during the week, the
fall in energy prices and other commodities pushed the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index down by 2.7%. The
Euro lost ground on expectations of further stimulus required to boost growth in the region, while the
Japanese Yen and the US dollar gained.
• Asia-Pacific: Stellar performance by Japanese equities offset weakness in Emerging Asia and helped
the regional index close in positive territory for 2013. During the week, most Asian equity markets
traded lacklustre amidst weak economic data. PMI data out of China suggested deceleration in
economic activity - the official manufacturing PMI slid to 51 from 51.4 last month primarily due to
weakness in export orders.The HSBC China manufacturing PMI index mirrored trends in the official
index, and the services PMI also fell to 54.6 from 56. Singapore advance GDP estimates indicate the
economy contracted by 2.7%qoq (annualized basis) compared with the 2.2% expansion witnessed
• Europe: Key European equity indices closed 2013 with double-digit gains, but started the New Year
on a cautious note even as regional economic data was relatively positive. The region’s headline PMI
index rose to 52.7 from 51.6 last month. The improvement was led by gains in Germany, Italy and
Netherlands, while French manufacturing continued to decline.The Turkish lira plunged to record lows
as the ongoing corruption probes raised political risks. Fiat gained full control of Chrysler after paying
$4.3 bln for the remaining 41% stake.
• Americas: US equity indices closed the year in record territory. Markets however edged lower this
holiday shortened week on thin volumes. US economic data reinforced views the economy remains
in good shape – US consumer confidence index moved up to 78.1 from 72 and the ISM
manufacturing index dipped slightly to 57 from 57.3. Elsewhere in the region, Brazil’s government
posted a budget surplus of 1.5% of GDP, exceeding targets on the back of higher tax collections. On
the M&A front, FireEye Inc acquired Mandiant for $1.05 bln.
MSCI AC World Index
FTSE Eurotop 100
MSCI AC Asia Pacific
*As of 30 Dec 2013
India - Equity
Indian equity markets closed 2013 in the positive territory, but were down for the week as mixed
economic data weighed on investor sentiment. Mid and small cap stocks however performed relatively
well this week. Amongst sectors, capital goods stocks were the top losers, while technology stocks ended
higher. FII activity was limited - $183 mln flows in the first four trading days of the week. For 2013, FII
inflows amounted to nearly $20 bln, one of the highest in recent years.
• 2014 Outlook: The global economy will remain in adjustment phase and the divergent growth trends
are likely to persist in 2014. The policy priorities for EM and developed economies will be different
and a lot depends on US, but policymakers appear to be cognizant of the cross-border spill overs and
hence, any liquidity tightening will be done in a careful manner. From a medium to long term
perspective, developed economies need to reduce their large deficits without impacting growth
For India, 2014 will witness heightened focus on politics given the national elections. The results of
the recent state elections might help in shifting focus away from welfare-politics to developmentfocused politics. Irrespective of the nature of the ruling parties (coalition), we expect to see an
improved policy environment.
We believe that focus needs to be on ensuring adequate reforms to lay the foundation for the next
growth phase. Inflation needs to be addressed holistically to enable a higher growth rate and this would
require addressing continued supply-side bottlenecks, subsidies and government intervention in pricing
of food grains. Boosting financial savings and diverting them away from non-productive physical assets
like gold will help augment the growth rate.
Source: CEIC, Morgan Stanley Research
We are seeing early signs of the Indian economy stabilizing and believe a gradual (and uneven) recovery
will take shape in 2014-15, helped initially by positive contribution from exports and agriculture sectors.
Potential headwinds include rising inflation, further monetary tightening by the central bank and
government spending cuts to achieve fiscal deficit targets.
Despite the moderation in growth trends, we believe India’s economic expansion will be ahead of most
peers and as has been the case in the past, we expect markets to rally ahead of an improvement in economic
fundamentals. From a medium to long term perspective, consumption and investment remain the core
themes. A strong middle class along with the need to boost infrastructure will be the drivers, and companies
that are positioned to take advantage of them will be wealth creators over the coming decades. While we
are not betting big on exports there are some positives emerging in that space as well. Investors need to
look beyond the short term uncertainty to participate in the long term growth story as the cycle turns.
• Policy: RBI’s discussion paper on non-performing assets (NPA) management puts forth a range of
measures for early recognition of problem assets and to tighten asset recovery process. Some of the key
aspects of the proposed NPA resolution programme are creation of a special mention account category
for accounts with over 30-day and 60-day payment delays and certain other qualitative factors such as
delays in stock statements, etc. For larger loans, the central bank has suggested setting up a joint lenders
forum to start negotiating with the borrower on early signs of slippage. Banks can also categorize certain
borrowers as non-co-operative and this can trigger a system wide increase in provisioning. Lastly, the
paper also has some suggestions for the government and judiciary system so as to improvise the asset
Overall the paper, as it stands, is a step in the right direction and can help banks deal with NPAs in a structured
manner.At this point, problem assets are not at alarming levels and mostly concentrated in the books of public
sector banks. Such a mechanism will help expedite resolution and improvise the bargaining position of banks.
Weekly change (%)
S&P BSE Sensex
S&P BSE Smallcap
India - Debt
Indian bond markets a difficult year on the positive note - yields eased across the curve this week as
improved liquidity situation and comments from the RBI that the economy is relatively well placed to deal
with Fed tapering helped bond prices rally. FII flows into debt securities amounted to $202 mln in the first
four trading days of the week ($8 bln outflows in 2013).
On Friday, RBI shared its draft report on financial market benchmarks – amongst other recommendations
the committee has suggested the current polling methodology used to determine money market rates be
replaced with one based on trades so as to eliminate any possibility of manipulation. This change is in line
with changes being implemented globally on money market benchmark rate setting.
• Yields: Drop in yields was sharper at the shorter end of the curve – yields on 10-year gilts decreased
5 bps, while 5-year gilts fell by 9 bps.Yields on 1-year papers dropped 21 bps while that on the 30 year