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Good time to buy equities ahead of 2019 general elections, say traders

The past six elections show positive returns for Indian equities over the two years that straddle the vote -- regardless of whether power changed hands.

business Updated: Apr 26, 2018 11:31 IST
Ameya Karve
Ameya Karve
Bloomberg
Elections 2019,2019 general elections,Indian equity market
The fiscal years prior to elections showed positive gains for the benchmark BSE Sensex index in all but two of the past six ballots, and one of the loser years was 2008 -- when markets round the world were upended by the global financial crisis.(AFP Photo)

Indian stocks have been roughed up along with most markets in recent months, but there could soon be reason to cheer. General elections are due by 2019, and modern history shows that tends to be a good thing for investors.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces an uphill battle to sustain his party’s majority in the key lower house of parliament, the past six elections show positive returns for Indian equities over the two years that straddle the vote -- regardless of whether power changed hands.

The fiscal years prior to elections showed positive gains for the benchmark BSE Sensex index in all but two of the past six ballots, and one of the loser years was 2008 -- when markets round the world were upended by the global financial crisis.

Governments of course have plenty of incentive to boost growth in the run-up to elections, potentially feeding through to corporate earnings as well. Optimism about a new administration’s game plan could also help explain the history.

Investors might hope for a repeat of the 2004 election when it comes to the impact on equities. The BSE Sensex saw a 113% advance over the two years through March 2005.

First Published: Apr 26, 2018 11:30 IST