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Executive Director & Chief Investment Officer
Navneet Munot joined SBI Funds Management as Chief Investment Officer in December 2008. He has over 25 years of rich experience in Financial Markets.
Navneet Munot joined SBI Funds Management as Chief Investment Officer in December 2008. He has over 25 years of rich experience in Financial Markets. In his role, Navneet is responsible for overseeing investments worth over USD 100 billion across various asset classes in mutual fund and segregated accounts. In his previous assignment, he was the Executive Director & Head – multi –strategy boutique with Morgan Stanley Investment Management.
Prior to joining Morgan Stanley Investment Management, he has worked as Chief Investment Officer – Fixed Income and Hybrid Funds at Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund and worked in various areas such as fixed income, equities and foreign exchange.
Navneet is the Chairman of Indian Association of Investment Professional (India society of CFA charter holders with over 3000 members).
Navneet is Nominee Director on the board of SBI PENSION FUNDS (P) LTD
Navneet is a postgraduate in Accountancy and Business Statistics and a qualified Chartered Accountant. He is also a Charter Holder of the CFA Institute and CAIA Institute. He has also done FRM.
30 Dec, 2019
The search for the much awaited and elusive Fed Pivot continued in the run
up to the FOMC November meeting. With some segments of the markets having interpreted the last EBC rate action
as a Dovish hike, expectations centred on the FED indicating a softer approach by downsizing to more modest
hikes in its meetings from December. This led to yields softening and equity markets moving up in the weeks
leading up to the FOMC meet. The message from the FOMC eventually was simple and in hindsight the obvious, which
certain segments of the markets have been repeatedly failing to internalise. The pace of incremental hikes
matter less and what is more relevant is "how high the policy rates go" and "how long it needs to stay high".
With a rapid increase in rates over the last 6 months from 0 to 4% and considering the lag effects of earlier
hikes, the requirement to downshift at some stage is obvious. However, given the extent of overshoot on
inflation, the tight labour markets as well as stronger near term data, the FED was more likely to stay
hawkish.The market expectations on the peak FED Funds Rate accordingly has shited further post the FOMC.
The month gone by was a risk-on month with global financial assets faring
well. Sentiments were helped by hopes that the US Fed may signal a reduced pace of incremental rate hikes, which in
turn bought some stability to US Bond yields as well the dollar index. Indian equities performed well in October
along with global markets with the Nifty and the Sensex rising 5.4% and 5.8% respectively. However, there was a
marked deterioration in market breadth as the Nifty 100 Equal weight index significantly trailed at 2.2%
gains. Nifty MidCap 150 and Nifty SmallCap 250 indexes lagged as well at 1.8% and 1.9% gain, respectively.
The up move materialized even as there was little cheer from macro data. CPI
data showed inflation moving up to 7.41% in September, a 5-month high, while IIP data pointed to an 0.8%
contraction in August, an 18-month low. The INR depreciated 1.8% against the dollar for the month while 10-year
bond yield inched by 5 bps. The uptick inequity indices even as bond yields ticked higher has meant that the
valuation argument has swung further in favour of bonds and against equities on a relative basis, as measured by
earnings yield to bond yield spread.
The Q2 earnings season so far has been a mixed bag too. The key challenge
for economy and corporate earnings so far has been the continued weakness in various consumption categories. This
suggests that the recovery so far has been tepid and two-track. While businesses stay optimistic, consumer
sentiment is still weak. The strength in business sentiment can be attributed in part to the global opportunity
driven by better western demand especially from the US as well as optimism around the China plus one opportunity.
On the other hand, inflationary pressures have led to an erosion in real disposable incomes contributing to
weak domestic consumer demand. Even within consumption, while urban high-ticket consumption has held up, it is mass
consumption that has suffered the most thus pointing to a continued K in the recovery.
Business sentiment at odds with consumer confidence
Source: CEIC, RBI OBICUS, SBIMF Research
Indeed, while consumer perception for income and employment is improving,
that for prices has been deteriorating underlining inflation as the key challenge for consumption. The following
chart based on the RBI consumer confidence survey amply demonstrates this point.
Inflation primary concern for consumers
Source: RBI consumer confidence survey,
SBIMF Research; NB: CSI refers to Current Situation Index
In an environment where the external sector is slowing reflecting a slowdown
in global economy, and with local rates rising and liquidity shrinking, it will be critical for domestic
consumption to recover for the sustenance of economic and earnings momentum. And for that to happen, inflation
trajectory will be crucial. The sharp deceleration in global money supply growth which is now in contraction
zone and a sustained war against inflation by global central banks augur well for inflation trajectory, even as
this is bound to have adverse economic implications on other parts of the economy. Yet a correction in the
current K shape of the recovery is, in our view, necessary to make the economic trajectory more balanced and
hence eventual recovery sustainable.
Overall, we stay of the view that equity market volatility may persist given
continued macro uncertainty amidst valuations that suggest equities are expensive relative to bonds.
Sticking to the long-term asset allocation plan, following diversification,and keepinga longer investment
timeframe should help investors in this environment.
Equity valuations expensive relative to bonds
Source: Bloomberg, SBIFM research
Emerging markets, have so far navigated the raging storm trigerred by
aggressive monetary policy moves in key developed markets in a relatively sanguine manner. The larger deviations in
inflation targets and significantly loose monetary policy settings as a starting point has ensured larger
adjustments in market prices in developed economies. At the same time, rapid reset in asset prices could
potentially have financial stability implications as hidden faults emerge such as the pressure faced by UK
pension funds with Liability driven Investment strategies. The adjustments in the currency as well as yields in
key EM’s have been much muted as compared to the developed markets. Bond yields in India have also remained range
bound in the recent weeks even as overseas yields continued to adjust higher. After the repricing trigerred by
the lack of Bond Index inclusion, the benchmark 10y yields have traded in a narrow range between 7.40%-7.50% for
the most part.
Looking ahead, as developed market central banks, primarily the US FED
tightens monetary policy further to restrictive levels, the spillover effects are unlikely to completely escape
EM’s including India. While country specific macro factors could potentially lead to some divergence, the
process of adjustment would essentially have to be borne with the Fx markets likely to be channel in India’s
case. Even as domestic monetary policy rates would be guided by the growth-inflation dynamics, external factors
would continue to exert a material influence. The process of adjustment is effectively 3 pronged encompassing
policy rates, Fx as well as liquidity. We expect that the adjustment in policy rates should largely
be done as rates move up towards 6.50% ( which provides a 1%+ real policy rate based on 1y ahead expected CPI ),
while Fx and liquidity adjustments may be ongoing.
From a valuation perspective, bond yields remain attractive both on an
absolute as well as relative ( to equity ) perspective. Market yields at the end of CY21 with effective
overnight rates anchored below the reverse repo rate of 3.35% and 3 year yields around 5.30%-5.75% for sovereign
and AAA bonds provided a steep curve. Playing the curve steepness was the only way to generate additional carry,
though with extremely unfavorable valuation given the potential risks. The current curve settings , though
provide a higher degree of comfort given the process of adjustment/ repricing that has played outover the last 6
months. With an expected 1 year ahead CPI which as per most estimates range around 5.20%, the yield
curve currently provides a 1 year ahead positive real return. This is in contrast to the realised outcomes over
the last 3 years.
Source: RBI , SBIMF Research
At the same time, apart from spillover effectsfrom globalevents, risk
factors include demand –supply dynamics for Government securities in anenvironment of tightening
liqudiity.Robust credit growth has led to widening gap between Credit-Deposit growth as well as increaseinbulk
deposit rates as well as rising CD issuances . Corporatebonds where demand –supply equation seems fairly
positive do not however provide comfort from valuationperspective, more so as Bank benchmark linked loans get
repriced higher. While inflation is expected to moderate going forward, the volatility in food prices and the
broad based nature of items in the CPI basket with 6% inflation and above needto be watched.Wideningdeficit on
the current account alongside muted capital flows could have feedback effects with respect to currency trends
and domestic liqudity and rates.
Mutual Fund investments are subject to
market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Vinay M. Tonse, Deputy Managing Director of State Bank of India (SBI), is on deputation to SBI Funds Management Limited since June 22, 2020.
Mr. Tonse started his career with SBI in 1988 as Probationary Officer.
He has worked in different geographical locations in India and abroad heading various business functions. He has good experience of handling and managing various areas of Banking such as Operations, Retail Banking including Agriculture credit and MSME sectors, Corporate Credit, International Banking Operations, Treasury Operations, Equity Portfolio Management, Private Equity, Venture Capital and Training.
Before his deputation to SBI Funds Management Limited, he was heading the Chennai Circle of SBI as Chief General Manager (June 2018 to June 2020). He had an overall responsibility of managing all the branches and offices of SBI situated in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Other key assignments held by Mr. Tonse during the last 10 years in SBI are as under:
• General Manager, Corporate Accounts Group – II, Mumbai (November 2016 to June 2018)
• Deputy General Manager, Equity & Commodities (Global Markets), Mumbai (June 2013 to November 2016)
• CEO, Osaka Branch, Japan (August 2009 to June 2013)
“World Investor Week October 10 - 16, 2022 being Celebrated under aegis of IOSCO and SEBI.” | “विश्व निवेशक सप्ताह 10-16 अक्तूबर, 2022 - आयस्को तथा सेबी की छत्रछाया में मनाया जा रहा है”