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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 debate surrounding the long-awaited revival of inflation and its implications on monetary policy settings has re
emerged in recent times. At the same time, global central banks have so far firmly resisted any discussions about
unwinding the extraordinary support measures. Central to the cautious approach has been the experienceof the years
since the global financial crisis, wherein developed markets central banks have consistently failed to achieve the 2%
inflation targetinspite of large monetary accommodation and unconventional policy measures including large scale asset
purchases. At the same time, there remains the challenge in terms of disentangling the “durable” from the “transient”
elements in the current phase of inflationupswing considering the pandemic induced supply shocks.Central Banks such
as the US FED have also made material changes in their policy framework that allows an overshoot of inflation over the
The wedge between wholesale and consumer prices have been evident across most geographies. Higher
commodity prices have fed into higher producer prices globally. US PPI inflation surged to 6.2% in April (vs. 2.8% two
months ago). China posted 6.8% (vs. deflation through 2020). Indian WPI, proxy for producer prices, surged to 10.5%.
This has not been passed onto consumer prices to similar strength and extent.
Until around 2013, there was a reasonably close correlation between headline CPI and PPI inflation. However, this has
changed over the last seven-eight years: the correlation has weakened. What accounts for this is hard to say, but
structural changes are likely at work, such as increased competition within industries that limit the pass-through from
higher producer to consumer prices. Therefore, the latest spike in the PPI, largely driven by higher commodity prices, has
not fed entirely into a major surge in consumer prices. Within consumer prices, the momentum appears to be faster for
developed market economies vis-a-vis emerging market economies, as the former sees demand support from fiscal
stimulus and faster vaccination. Emerging market economies, on the other hand, have a relatively contained Consumer
price inflation (compared to their own history).
Source: SBIMF Research
The overwhelming presence of large fiscal stimulus apart from the recent trends of supply chain realignment
and increasing use of tariffs present a new dynamic to monitor with respect to its impact on long term inflation
formation. Whether these represent a turning point in the inflation cycle is yet to be known. However, given
the role of low interest rates supporting asset prices, how central banks respond to signs of any durable pickup
in inflation in terms of “tapering” the support currently being provided is crucial to monitor.
Indian equities had a strong month as the Nifty and the Sensex surged about 6.5% apiece with the former
recording fresh all time high and the latter in touching distance of it buoyed by moderation in Covid infections.
Covid cases peaked in early May and continued to see a significant reduction through the month. Not
surprisingly the up move has been led by pro-economy segments with Financials, Small caps, and Services and
hospitality outperforming. There were other supportive trends at play too as global yields stayed moderate,
the dollar weakened, and Emerging Market equities found a bid again. The ongoing result season has been
strong as expected with the Nifty companies having reported so far suggesting nearly 18% and 40% year on
year growth on sales and operating profits respectively off a weak base. The year hasshaped up well too with
net profit for Nifty rising in high teens. In a year when the economy contracted by 7.3% on a real basis and 3%
even in nominal terms, this growth in earnings is quite remarkable and supports the thesis that corporate
profits to GDP in India may finally be reverting higher after having plunged to multi-year lows.
A key factor driving profits for corporate India this year has been a significant expansion in margins driven by
cost efficiencies. While some of the cost may come back as operations resume in full swing and raw material
prices continue to see upward pressure, on the other hand as growth normalizes, operating leverage benefits
should kick in and support margins. In addition, several sectors that have adversely impacted corporate profits
over the past few years such as corporate banks, telecom, and metals appear to have turned the corner. Policy
backdrop continues to be extremely favourable. Aggressive fiscal expansion in addition to super
accommodative monetary policy in the West, most notably the US, should augur well for a reflation in the
global economy. Stronger balance sheets for banks, healthier corporate balance sheets, leaner cost structures
and reforms around formalization of the economy, corporate taxes, PLIs, GST, real estate, etc augur well. We
therefore continue to believe that we are in early stages of a new earnings cycle.
Yet the path, at least in the near term, is unlikely to be linear. While the worst of second wave appears to be
behind, how long does it take for the scars of the crisis to heal and how quickly does consumer and corporate
confidence return on the other side of the current crisis is still a question mark. Distress in the unorganized
sector and unemployment have soared. Whether and to what extent can the government provide fiscal relief
to dampen the impact is yet to be seen. The progress on vaccination is another key monitorable as that will
determine the true extent of reopening as well as the probability of another harsh wave. Globally, rates and
dollar have stayed benign so far, even with rising inflation prints as central banks as well as markets see these
as transient. However, continued high inflation prints may cause near term jitters. Above all, the most
important near-term risk in our view comes from an elevated reading on our proprietary equity sentiment
index which suggests overheated sentiment and may limit upsides in the short term. However, given our
positive structural view, we continue to see any tactical corrections as welcome opportunities to add proeconomy assets and stocks.
The RBI’s GSAP auctions and the continuing implicit yield curve control strategy has kept the benchmark 10y
sovereign bond yield anchored around 6% in the recent period. This has come at the cost of the cumulative
fiscal year to date gross dated securities borrowings being lower by around Rs 180 bn over the notified
amounts. The RBI has had to reject auction bids/ devolve auctions on Primary dealers in its endeavour to hold
the benchmark around 6%. Large cash balances from the previous fiscal year as well as a larger than budgeted
surplus transfer by the RBI have provided sufficient cushion for the same in Q1 FY22. The RBI surplus transfer
amounting to Rs 991 Bnis higher than the budgeted amounts by around Rs 450-500 Bn. At the same time, the
impact of the second wave on overall government finances, both on the revenue side as well as additional
expenditures is uncertain currently. Alongside the supply side reform measures and additional Government
capex that has been budgeted, there may still be a case to provide more targeted income support or fiscal
relief to mitigate the economic and social impact of the pandemic. The provision of additional liquidity or
monetary policy support may be incrementally less effective and potentially create issues with respect to asset
market distortion and financial stability.
In this context, the central bank would find it extremely challenging to hold the line on bond yields in the
absence of robust natural demand at levels targeted so far. Additional GSAP / other market interventions
would remain a necessary requirement for a while. While the overall indirect taxes had shown steady growth
since the second half of FY21, the impact of recent regional lockdowns on account of the second wave could
lead to a slowdown in Q1FY22. The gap between protected revenues to states and the compensation cess
collection is likely to be bridged through market borrowings intermediated by the central government as in
the previous fiscal year.
From a market perspective, the continuation of excessively surplus liquidity and ongoing RBI intervention
remains important to support or validate the existing market levels and credit spreads. This remains a key
vulnerability factor. The market reaction in January 20 after the RBI initiated the resumption of the revised
liquidity management framework through 14D reverse repo auctions is sufficient evidence of the potential
As the second wave subsides and activity levels start to normalise, there would sufficient reasons to start the
normalisation of crisis era liquidity and monetary support. The liquidity impact of interventionsin Government
securities market, that may still be required in view of the larger borrowing requirements, may at the margin
needs to be sterilised. Incremental GSAP auctions from the second quarter may well be accompanied by longer
term variable rate reverse repo auctions. This may provide a signal for a gradual normalisation of money
market rates away from the reverse repo floor.
Data Source: Bloomberg, SBI MF research,
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 Private 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 Private 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)