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Wednesday, October 10, 2007


AT THE height of the dotcom mania in 1999-00, the easiest way to maximise returns was to buy into any stock with the suffix ‘Software’ or ‘Technologies’. Eight years on, the same seems to hold true for any stock with the prefix ‘Reliance’, given their baffling run-up over the past one month.

As the benchmark logged its highest single-day gains in absolute terms on Tuesday to race past the 18,000-mark, factors like politics, valuations and earnings appear to have become non-issues overnight.

The only thing that matters for now is liquidity and there is nothing to suggest the tide could reverse. In less than three weeks since the US Federal Reserve cut rates, FIIs have pumped in a net of $5.4 billion into Indian equities. According to provisional data, foreign funds bought over Rs 1,400 crore worth of shares on Tuesday. The euphoria was not restricted to India. Benchmarks in China, Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia and Pakistan hit new peaks. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific index rose 0.5% to 166.69, and appeared set to close at a new high.

Eye-popping rallies in Reliance Industries, Reliance Energy and Reliance Communications lifted the 30-share Sensex to a record high of 18,327.42 intra-day. The index finally settled at 18,280.24, a gain of 788.85 points or 4.5% over the previous close. All three stocks hit new highs and have been the top gainers in the major indices over the past one month. RIL and Reliance Communications have gained around 30% each, while Reliance Energy has risen an astounding 80%. The three stocks have together contributed 42% to the latest 1,000-point rally in the Sensex. Bharti Airtel was the only other stock in the Sensex to touch a new high. In all, 60 stocks on the BSE hit fresh peaks.

The 50-share Nifty hit a peak of 5,348.70, before finishing the day at 5,327.25, up 242.15 points or 4.6% over the previous close. Market capitalisation of the BSE rose 4% to Rs 54.52 lakh crore, while those of the Mukesh Ambani group and Anil Ambani group stood at Rs 4.37 lakh crore and Rs 2.38 lakh crore respectively. “The pace of the rally has clearly taken everybody by surprise, and it is tough to take a call as the rise has been led by a handful of stocks,” says A Balasubramanian, CIO of Birla Sunlife Mutual Fund.


The market boom has made the Ambani brothers arguably the richest in the world with the clubbed fortune totalling $170b

Midcaps fail to keep pace with Sensex

“THEREis too much money pouring in, and investors are chasing stocks which are showing high growth momentum right now. One can debate about valuations; nothing has really changed over the past one month,” he says, adding there were likely to be very few earnings surprises for the latest quarters.

Second line shares were overlooked in favour of their frontline counterparts, with the BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap indices rising 2.6% and 2% respectively. Investors in mid cap and small cap shares have not really benefited from the recent rally, point out market watchers.

This could also be explained by the fact that the BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap have risen 7% and 6% respectively over the last one month, compared with a 14% rise in the Sensex.

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