Is India a Good Buy?

Chris Mayer, editor of leading investment advisor Agora Financial, writes:

I think now is a good time to pick up India’s blue chips, if you can sit with them for a while. I like emerging markets still. This is a pause, and not the end, of the emerging market growth story. It’s much bigger than most people think. India has less exposure to exports than China, has a lot of savings, little debt, a very young population (half under the age of 25) and some leading companies dirt-cheap

Lots of problems, to be sure, as all emerging markets do, but India will come back. writes in its VIEWSFLASH email service:

Japan is the least sick rich economy.

Neither November’s export slide, nor Toyota’s profit woes, are what they seem. Corrected for yen appreciation, exports were down 8.9%, imports up 6.9%. Japan’s recession is mild and its fiscal stimulus modest. The yen’s strength is a sign currency markets see underlying health.

In an article entitled How India Avoided a Crisis, the New York Times reports that while India has been severely affected by the economic crisis, it was not nearly as exposed as the U.S. Specifically, the Times reports that Indian regulators largely kept India’s banks away from derivatives, securitizations, and other risky investments.

While the Indian economy is slowing, and is in recession, it is still doing better than just about any other economy. As Bloomberg writes:

Indian companies should prepare for economic growth of 7 percent in the year ending March 31, down from 9 percent or more the previous three years, the government said Dec. 23.

That pace is still the second-fastest among the major economies — behind only China.

So buying some Indian stocks might be smart, as long as you can buy and hold for the long-term (until the worst of the depression is over).

Note: I am not an investment advisor and this should not be taken as investment advice.

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