December 14, 2015

Modi's $72 Billion Wage Bonanza Spells Stimulus for India Stocks

Modi’s weighing proposals by a panel to double wages in a move that may prompt the country’s 29 states to make their own adjustments. If accepted, the size of the stimulus could swell to as much as 4.8 trillion rupees ($72 billion), or 2.8 percent of gross domestic product by March 2017, Credit Suisse Group AG estimates.

The first civil service pay rise in a decade can be a windfall for India’s $1.4 trillion stock market that’s headed for its first annual loss in four years. The higher payouts may boost the fortunes of companies from Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. to broadcaster Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. at a time when El Nino-linked dry weather curbs rural incomes, according to Macquarie Capital Securities India Pvt. and Credit Suisse.

The panel’s proposals “will put a lot of money in the hands of consumers in one shot,” Vikas Gupta, an executive vice president at Mumbai-based Arthveda Fund Management, said by phone. “2016 will be a year of consumption. There’s no question about it.” He favors two-wheeler makers and auto-parts companies.


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