I have written previously about how global markets are getting more integrated and showing signs of high correlation. Regarding this, I had also highlighted the point of imperfect information dissemination and how domestic markets have changed. The previous article talked about how exchanges and other capital markets, which were earlier domestic in nature, especially of emerging economies such as
have now gone global or have initiated the process of doing so. India
A valid concern then arises whether any of our stock exchanges have the ability and necessity to become truly global. Ability? Of course yes.
enjoys a strong technological advantage, thanks to its IT sector. Supplemented with the appropriate investor friendly policy environment, India has better chances in comparison to its competitors. Furthermore, necessity, as economics teaches us, arises from a near inelastic demand curve. And presently, I would say that this inelastic demand is present in the form of the huge investor interest in the growing returns of the securities of Indian capital markets. India
As I write, the US short term interest rates are close to zero, and the US long term rates are around 2-3 %. The interest rate prevailing in India is currently around the 6-7 % range. Thus, this vast interest rate differential makes a compelling case for carry trade. But cash- laden investors in the West are looking for even higher returns in the form of equities.
The question we should be asking to ourselves is that, can Indian stock exchanges make it big on the international stage in the next 10-20 years? I say yes.
The race for other factors of production shall continue, but I would like to focus on capital as the most necessary factor for the coming years. Capital is a very important input for growing economies and if India needs to sustain existing growth levels of 9%, it has to tap external savings and investments. In simple economic terms, investments in an economy are equal to the domestic savings, budget surplus and net imports. Hence increasing capital inflows in the form of foreign investments on the NSE traded stocks will be a great boost to the Indian economy.
Just recently in May, when the government announced plans for compulsory 25% stake sale in all listed public companies, there was a lot of hue and cry over whether the market would have enough liquidity to absorb so much of stake sale. The estimated amount of equity issuances over the next 3 years is around $30 billion. This amount is trivial in comparison to what large corporations in the US issue. For instance, HP is planning to come out with a $33 billion bond issue in the coming weeks.
Another important factor is competitiveness among the national exchanges itself. NSE is closely followed by BSE and another MCX-SX is waiting in the docks If not NSE then there will be some other exchange. But in my opinion, with its current position in terms of the market position, management and technology advantage, NSE is the most amenable to such expansion.
NSE has recently signed a cross listing agreement for futures of flagship indices with CME and earlier with SGX, but these listings are just to give foreign investors a feel of Indian markets and assist in portfolio diversification. The real deal will be when the NSE can convert the volumes and listing numbers the large foreign bourses boast about.
My last argument for having such high hopes of seeing an Indian stock exchange reach the heights of a global exchange is the comparative advantage Indian capital markets have over other emerging economies markets. In the recent World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, although
fell two places to 51st rank, its financial markets were rated 17th across the world. This shows how the existing level of competitiveness in the Indian exchanges and the future can be built on this grounding. India