ICICI Bank, Axis Bank are like pseudo private banks: Christopher Wood

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Stock strategist Christopher Wood has given a thumbs-down to the scandal-hit ICICI Bank and Axis, saying it’s always better to own “real” private banks.

The CLSA Global Strategist was speaking at an event in Mumbai on Tuesday.

ICICI Bank and Axis Bank are like pseudo-private banks, Wood added. While ICICI Bank is embroiled in a controversy involving its CEO amid charges of nepotism, Axis is facing a lot of heat due to a surge in bad loans.

Wood, however, maintained that private lenders will continue to gain market share at the cost of their public peers.

“There is a real possibility of revival in private sector capex in India,” said Wood. He termed LTCG tax as “a bad policy and risk for the market”.

The global brokerage house had earlier this month projected that the NSE Nifty is unlikely to cross 11,000 in the rest of 2018.

Wood added that personal asset allocation in India has reduced from triple overweight to double overweight because of monetary tightening.

According to the market veteran, weakness in the dollar is supporting emerging markets. The US dollar index has slipped 11 per cent to 89.08 levels till April 17 from 100.19 on the same day in 2017. “The US dollar continues to be weak benefiting emerging markets,” the CLSA top executive said.

Wood sees oil prices affecting the rupee and a strong dollar as key global risks to India.

His assessment is global markets will continue to stay volatile and the US Fed will keep raising rates. “US rate hikes will slow the US economy,” Wood predicted.

Wood also talked about popular expectations of 10-year US yield hardening to 3 per cent. During the past one year, the 10-year US yield has increased to 2.83 per cent, from 2.25 per cent on April 17 last year.

He also referred to G7 central bank balancesheets that are expected to contract over the next few years. He also spoke of higher pricing power of industrial commodity producers because of reduction in excess capacity in China.

Source: Economic Times