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When elephants slip! This smallcap investor lost big in 2019; sugar stocks his only savior

NEW DELHI: Calendar 2019 was painful for most investors. Even many of the seasoned investors could not cope with the harsh market conditions.

Value investor Anil Kumar Goel is one of them. As many as 23 of his smallcap holdings eroded up to 70 per cent of market value during the year. The sugar stocks he holds – Goel is known to hold many of them – only played savior with decent gains.

Goel’s portfolio value stood at Rs 630 crore as of December 16. Only seven of his portfolio stocks are on course to end the year higher, data compiled from corporate database AceEquity suggests. This study does not include stocks Goel holds in the name of his better half, Seema Goel.

Samtex Fashions, where Goel held 6 per cent stake at the end of September quarter, lost 69.37 per cent of its market value for the year. He has been holding this stock since 2010 and his holding has been 6-7 per cent since 2015.

Another portfolio stock, IG Petrochemicals, lost 69.37 per cent of value during the year. Goel has been holding it at least since 2015.

Some of stocks where Goel lost big this year included KG Denim (down 54.12 per cent), Sterling Tools (down 49.32 per cent), Shivam Autotech (down 49.10 per cent), Thirumalai Chemicals (down 49 per cent), Vardhman Holdings (down 44.74 per cent), Austin Engineering Company (down 43.15 per cent), TCPL Packaging (Down 40.65 per cent) and Amarjothi Spinning Mills (down 40.57 per cent).

Goel’s biggest holding is KRBL, owner of India Gate Basmati rice brand, at Rs 224 crore. That stock is down 22 per cent this calendar. Other stocks he holds such as Sarla Performance Fibres, Star Paper Mills, Vardhman Special Steels and Sanghvi Movers are all down 30-40 per cent for the year.

That said, a few of his other big holdings, especially sugar stocks, delivered healthy returns. Triveni Engineering & Industries delivered 35 per cent, Dhampur Sugar Mills 24 per cent, Dwarikesh Sugar 18 per cent and Uttam Sugar Mills 6 per cent. Dalmia Bharat Sugar and Andhra Sugars, however, fell 8-15 per cent.

Goel was not alone. Even Big Bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala failed to make solid gains in Calendar 2019. About two dozen stocks that are part of the ace investor’s portfolio fell up to 90 per cent in line with the broader market, which saw most midcap and smallcap stocks bleed through the year.

Out of the 30-odd stocks in Big Bull’s portfolio, 26 failed to beat Sensex’s 13 per cent return during the year. That’s not usual, as seven of every 10 stocks that traded on BSE fell 10 per cent during the year and eight of every 10 failed to generate any return.

Source: Economic Times