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Indian Stocks: A Bubble or a Buying Opportunity?

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  • (0:40) - India ETFs On The Rise
  • (5:00) - India's Growth: Economic and Political Reform
  • (10:40) - Financial Institutions In India
  • (15:00) - Top Banking Stock Picks
  • (19:50) - Is There An IPO Bubble In India?
  • (23:00) - Episode Roundup:

Welcome to Episode #98 of the Zacks Market Edge Podcast.

Every week, host and Zacks stock strategist, Tracey Ryniec, will be joined by guests to discuss the hottest investing topics in stocks, bonds and ETFs and how it impacts your life.

In this episode, Tracey is joined by Neena Mishra, Zacks Director of ETF Research and Editor of Zacks Income Investor, to discuss what’s going on in India’s economy now that Prime Minister Modi has pushed through some key economic reforms.

The economy has slowed the last two quarters, but that is believed to be a temporary slowing and is expected to heat up. GDP is forecast to grow at 6.8% this year and 7.2% next year.

Investors Pile In

Foreign and domestic money has been flowing into Indian stocks for several years. ETF money flows over the past 3 years show that India was the top choice for investors in emerging market companies.

In the first six months of 2016, foreign institutions bought $8.4 billion in stock up from $2.9 billion in the first six months of 2016.

Additionally, Indian investors have also jumped into stocks thanks to the Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) that allow you to invest in mutual funds every month. Assets under management in mutual funds have doubled since 2014.

Too Hot to Handle?

Indian stocks are hot. In 2017, the Sensex is up 20% year-to-date with the Nifty Index up 23%.

The small caps are even hotter, up over 40%.

As Neena discusses, Indian stocks are discussed in casual conversation and it’s not unusual to hear stock tips from family and friends.

How Can You Invest in Indian Stocks?

There are some Indian ADRs traded on the US exchanges but they are mostly big banks. Two of the most prominent are:

1.       ICICI Bank (IBN - Free Report) , India’s largest private sector bank. Earnings are expected to rise 15% this year and another 33% in fiscal 2019. Investors should be sure to dig into asset quality and non-performing loans when considering emerging market banks.

2.       HDFC Bank Limited (HDB - Free Report) is also one of the largest private sector banks. It’s expected to grow earnings by 28% in fiscal 2018 and 24% in fiscal 2019. But it’s trading with a forward P/E of 30 now.

Buying one big Indian bank for a portfolio is rather limited. If you want a basket of stocks, the ETFs are the way to go.

Indian ETFs to Consider

1.       iShares India ETF (INDA - Free Report) is one of the most popular Indian ETFs. It invests in large cap stocks. You would get both ICICI and HDFC if you bought it. Financials make up 25% of the total portfolio. It has risen 27% in 2017.

2.       WisdomTree India Earnings ETF (EPI - Free Report) doesn’t just buy the large, mids or small caps. It looks at earnings and profits of the companies. Imagine that? Shares are up 32% year-to-date.

3.       VanEck India Small-Cap ETF (SCIF - Free Report) invests in small cap Indian stocks along with some microcaps. It’s up 46% year-to-date.

There are also a consumer focused and infrastructure ETFs for those who want even a more specialized collection of stocks in certain industries.

With the big move in the stocks, the record highs, the money pouring in and the increased speculation, should you still be jumping into Indian stocks?

Or wait for some kind of sell off?

Tune into this week’s podcast to find out.

Want to Know How to Invest in India’s Growth Through US Companies?

Neena and Tracey did a podcast in February 2017 discussing which US companies were positioned to cash in on Modi’s economic reforms and opening of the Indian economy to outside investors.

The battle is still raging with Alibaba, Amazon and even Apple making a play for the Indian consumer.

Our discussion is still timely.

Listen below to find out more.

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