Continental Group Hosts Special Independence Day Roundtable

  • Commemorating India’s 75 years of independence, the Continental Group hosted a special panel discussion, during which experts shed light on the country’s growth prospects based on macroeconomic indicators and context. geopolitics, while an audience poll revealed expectations that Sensex would hit the 70,000 mark by 2022.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The Continental Group, a leading insurance intermediary and financial services provider in the GCC region, recently hosted a panel discussion titled “Investment Story of the Golden Decade” , where financial experts considered historical precedents and the geopolitical status quo to analyze India’s growth prospects. India’s special edition, produced in commemoration of the nation’s 75 years of independence, also involved audience polls, which revealed people’s belief in the Sensex rally and mutual funds.

Roshan Chutkey, Senior Fund Manager ICICI Prudential AMC; Ankit Agarwal, Fund Manager, UTI Mutual Fund; and Neelam Verma, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, The Continental Group, were the keynote speakers for the webinar, which was moderated by Anselm Mendes, Executive Director of Sales, The Continental Group.

India’s unique position in the global value chain, its demographic dividend and its huge domestic demand, combined with externalities such as the China-Taiwan clashes and the Ukraine-Russia conflict, are increasingly taken into account by global experts and research organizations in their economic forecasts. . Despite widespread inflationary pressures and a looming recession, Indian investors are optimistic, as evidenced by the audience survey (webinars and LinkedIn channels), where 75% of respondents expressed confidence in Indian stock markets outperforming global indices .

“The Indian economy is on track to achieve 8-8.5% growth, according to high-frequency indicators. Government reforms – such as the concessional corporate tax rate – sound macroeconomic fundamentals , a highly digitalized environment, the revival of the contact services sector and improved public and private sector investment spending are bolstering the economy, which is considerably resilient against recession due to its predominantly domestic nature. next few years are important in terms of India’s ability to harness its strengths such as a good demographic dividend,” said Neelam Verma.

“The Fed-induced stimulus to combat pandemic pressures is now dragging on, impacting economically weaker sections. RBI is managing its reserves but faces a policy dilemma in terms of rising interest rates. Still, there is cause for optimism because of digitization-based architectures such as UPI and ONDC, which can improve SME solvency through accounts payable and balance sheet data. SMEs can give India’s exports the boost to increase their global market share to, say, 2.5% and enable increased government spending,” Roshan Chutkey said.

The predictable conclusion at this point, according to Roshan, is that exports must take over and they must be supported by digitalization and politics. Incidentally, 65% of survey respondents recognized IT as the most favored investment sector. Echoing the export imperative, Ankit Agarwal said: “India produces a huge skilled workforce, which can boost services, manufacturing and exports. Now is the time to undertake import substitution and backward integration, taking into account the broader abandonment of China.

“The increase in the repo rate will affect the valuations of SMEs, which tend to require high working capital. Interest rate hikes will increase the cost of doing business. Meanwhile, however, Indian banks find themselves in good position to lend. So there is a clear argument for credit-led growth in India. The only downside would be unfavorable policies,” Ankit added.

Despite stock market volatility, Sensex recently broke through the 60,000 mark, prompting investors to speculate on its ability to hit 70,000 by the end of 2022. About 36% of Continental Group survey respondents expect until Sensex hits the bar, while 32% of respondents believe it will hover between 60,000 and 70,000.

Streamlining the equity market rally, Neelam Verma said: “As we look at the interaction of economies and markets, we see compelling returns for goal-aligned portfolios of risk assets. Equities look more attractive than bonds, which look more attractive than cash Earnings growth is likely to push stock markets in the developed world – and some emerging world economies like India – to new heights, and we believe that strong growth and continued inflation and a higher inflation environment will be a headwind for bonds, but given the potential cross-currents, we are focusing on balance within our broadly optimistic portfolio positioning and maintaining an active approach.

The audience survey also looked at cross-border investment trends, particularly in the context of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in the UAE. About 80% of NRI investors are even more inclined toward mutual funds (about 33% of respondents prefer dollar-denominated mutual funds in particular). From a commercial point of view, India is the third partner of the UAE. Following the CEPA between the two countries, bilateral trade is expected to reach $100 billion over the next five years.

“Many Indian companies have set up manufacturing units for cement, building materials, textiles, engineered products, consumer electronics, etc., either in joint ventures or in special economic zones. The TATA Group has invested in the tourism, hotel, restaurant, healthcare, retail and education sectors. Even Hinduja Group has set up manufacturing units for Ashok Leyland vehicles in Ras-al-Khaimah. This would not be possible without the cultural kinship between the two nations – a kinship that has persisted for centuries and has grown since the unification of seven emirates,” said Neelam Verma.


About the Continental Group

The Continental Group is one of the leading insurance intermediaries and provider of financial services solutions in the GCC region. Licensed by the Insurance Authority and the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) of the United Arab Emirates, the firm represents reputable multinational and local insurance and financial institutions. Founded in 1995, Continental is the brainchild of Ashok Sardana, who built the company on three pillars: integrity, insight and innovation. Continental’s unparalleled industrial experience, embodied by a team of over 300 highly skilled professionals, has enabled its expansion in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. His outstanding track record of fostering lasting and meaningful relationships with his clients is rooted in his ability to deliver custom tailored solutions. A household name for all financial planning solutions at all stages of life: investments, savings, wealth creation, wealth generation and transfer, estate planning, succession planning and protection (insurance) planning; life, health, benefits, auto and home. Continental has also actively advocated for financial freedom and independence, financial inclusion, ESG investing and well-being, through its popular podcast “Dollars, Dirhams and Our Two Financial Cents”.

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Neha Kaul
Your Wordsmiths – Content and PR
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