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ICICI Pru AMC shops for online, insurance & realty stocks – Economic Times

ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company (AMC) just topped up on select pureplay internet companies as well as insurance firms in its equity portfolio besides picking up a few traditional largecap and midcap businesses.

The equity investment team at the country’s third-largest money manager, led by market veteran S Naren, added more than 10 lakh shares each in Sun Pharmaceuticals, ITC, Bharti Airtel, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC and Coal India in August.

Besides, it purchased around 3.70 lakh shares in and 1,732 shares in online classified firm Info Edge.

Shares of ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Coal India, Info Edge and HDFC gained between 2 per cent and 15 per cent last month, while those of, ITC, Sun Pharma and Airtel declined up to 7 per cent.

The fund house bought 2.46 lakh additional shares in ICICI Lombard General Insurance, 36,000 shares in HDFC Life Insurance, 22,875 in SBI Life Insurance, 11,027 in ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and 7,557 in General Insurance Corporation of India.

Companies like Bharti Airtel, Avenue Supermarts, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, TCS and insurance firms like HDFC Life will continue to grow as they have the ability to target the country’s population, says Amit Shah, Head of Research, BNP Paribas. “These companies will benefit across cycles due to predictable earnings growth,” he told in an interview.

ICICI Prudential AMC added 42,334 shares of Avenue Supermarts last month, while it offloaded over 2 lakh shares of RIL and TCS.

Brokerage firm Motilal Oswal Financial Services is positive on Info Edge with a price target of Rs 3,620. Shares of the company were at Rs 3,450 on Monday, September 14.

Available data showed the money manager also purchased additional shares of select stocks from real estate, logistics, NBFC and alcohol and breweries spaces last month, when BSE benchmark Sensex gained around 3 per cent, BSE Midcap index rose 7 per cent and BSE Smallcap index 10 per cent.

With significant levels of capital available, investors continue to see real estate as a valuable asset class, says Ramesh Nair, Chairman, CEO and Country Head, India, JLL. “This has brought many investors who took a ‘wait and see’ approach at the onset of the pandemic back into the market. While the office space will lead the recovery, the worst is behind for the residential sector. Home loan rates are at their lowest in 15 years and developers are offering attractive discounts, payment plans and schemes,” he said.

Since May, each month has been better than the previous month for the industry and growth prospects look brighter for the remaining months of 2020 and 2021, he said.

ICICI Prudential also added 2 to 15 lakh shares of United Breweries, Brigade Enterprises, NBCC, Phoenix Mills, Cholamandalam Financial Holdings, M&M Financial Services and Gateway Distriparks.

Other midcaps and smallcaps stocks the fund house accumulated in August included Biocon (4.18 lakh shares), KPIT Technologies (4.85 lakh shares), Fortis Healthcare (6.47 lakh shares), Wipro (7.29 lakh shares) and GAIL (6.65 lakh shares). Andhra Papers and NIIT were among the new entrants in its equity portfolio.

On the other hand, the fund house sold more than 10 lakh shares each in Hindalco Industries, Tata Power, ONGC, HDFC Bank, Vedanta, IndianOil, Tata Motors, Cipla and Tata Steel, among others.

Overall, ICICI Prudential AMC lightened position in 425 stocks, even as it increased its holding in at least 106.