JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are getting more bullish on India – CNBC

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A security guard walks past the National Stock Exchange of India building in Mumbai, India, on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016.

India has the “best growth story” among global emerging markets, said J.P. Morgan’s head of equity research for Asia excluding Japan, as he pointed to relatively stable oil prices and positive earnings projections for the country.

That comes as Goldman Sachs also became more bullish on India, raising its rating on Indian stocks to “overweight” in a Monday report, an indication that it expects a stock or index to outperform its peers.

Speaking to CNBC on Tuesday, J.P. Morgan’s James Sullivan predicted that oil prices will stay “relatively stable” at around $60 to $65 per barrel.

Oil is key to India, a net importer of crude, as higher prices lead to a higher import bill and a widening current account deficit — a measure of the flow of goods, services and investments in and out of the country.

Sullivan was optimistic on India’s overall growth. He said that markets are projecting India’s earnings growth at around 20 percent, while J.P. Morgan is expecting it to be slightly lower, at about 15 percent

“That’s really the best growth story we’ve got among global emerging markets,” Sullivan added.

The critical factor will be India’s general elections, set to take place over April and May, said Sullivan. However, he said that markets have performed quite strongly even amid rather “volatile” elections in the past.

In raising its rating on Indian stocks, Goldman Sachs said that foreign investors are coming back amid expectations of a more stable government and earnings growth.

“We raise it back to ‘overweight’ given sharp underperformance in January/February, better Q3FY19 earnings and a pick-up in (foreign institutional investors) positioning from lows amid rising market expectations of a potentially stable government,” it said in a report dated March 18.

India’s benchmark index Nifty 50 has shot up 8 percent in the past month, according to Goldman, and the investment bank expects earnings to grow 16 percent this year. Goldman expects the Nifty50 index to reach 12,500 in 12 months — that’s nearly 9 percent higher than its last close on Monday.

— CNBC TV18 contributed to this report.

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