A Strong Rupee is More Desirable Than Rate Cut
and if the US believes that they will be great again through it, they are dreaming. Through protectionism, you actually disturb the market economy. Making America great again requires many other measures but certainly not protectionism.
Will the US Federal Reserve be able to hike rates three times this year? The Fed may increase interest rates at some point, but they will probably leave real rates negative for a long time. We have had many American property prices already declining and also rents declining, which essentially would rather indicate weakness in the economy than strength. Whenever the next recession comes, the Federal Reserve in my view will liquify the system with some sort of quantitative easing. They may not call it QE, but the impact will be the same.
So what would be your stance on emerging markets? For the next 10 years, as I have said in the case of India, one will make more money in emerging markets than in the US. By historical standards, the US markets are extremely expensive and there is hardly any earnings growth.
In the last five years, we have seen an enormous inflow into ETF (exchange traded funds) and index funds and that has boosted large market capitalisation stocks in all markets, including India. The larger companies are relatively expensive in India. On the other hand, you have a lot of smaller companies that have been overlooked and neglected.
Do you think the RBI is likely to cut rates soon? For the average Indian, a stable or a strong rupee is much more desirable than a rate cut that will boost the stock market, from which not even 3% of the population benefits.
Do you think gains in commodity prices will sustain going ahead? The most attractive sector in commodities is probably agricultural commodities — soybean, rubber, sugar, etc.— their prices may still go higher. The precious metals are also attractive for a simple reason that the policies that the central banks have embarked upon, mainly money printing, will be very difficult to terminate.