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'Sensex unlikely to turn around soon'

business Updated: Oct 24, 2011 00:33 IST

Hindustan Times
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If you were hoping to see the Sensex reverse its downslide this festive season, you may be disappointed.

A majority of CEOs participating in an exclusive survey by Hindustan Times and research agency MaRS do not expect the stock market to turn around soon as high interest rates and global uncertainties prolong India's economic slowdown.

Top executives of 64 companies took part in the inaugural edition of the survey, CEO SPEAK, conducted during October 13-20.

More than half of them said the overall economic demand in this festive season has been below expectation, while 50% found consumer sentiment to be weaker than last year. These, coupled with global economic uncertainties, will delay any revival in the stock market, they said.

"I don't see any positive triggers," said Harsh Pati Singhania, managing director of JK Papers Ltd., who doesn't see the economy staging an upturn in this fiscal year. "Policy paralysis due to political uncertainties could also come in the way of the stock market turning around."

The quarterly earnings reports released through the past two weeks have offered little to boost investors' sentiment, said Sidartha Birla, Chairman, Xpro India. "The perception of a falling market will make people want to wait."

About 62% of the respondents see the economy growing below 7.5% this year compared to earlier expectations of a 9% growth.

The deceleration has also forced firms to go slow on hiring, and fewer of them are doling out better bonuses this Diwali.