$20bn wipeout means India tech darlings' shares snapped up by Franklin Templeton - Hindustan Times
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$20bn wipeout means India tech darlings' shares snapped up by Franklin Templeton

Bloomberg |
Jan 06, 2023 10:51 AM IST

Funds managed by Franklin Templeton bought at least 3.3 million shares of e-commerce logistics provider Delhivery Ltd. and more than 2 million shares of PB Fintech Ltd., the operator of online insurance marketplace Policybazaar, in November, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Franklin Templeton bought shares of some Indian technology startups after concerns over valuations and higher interest rates shaved more than $20 billion in market value from five high-profile recent market debutants.

Franklin Templeton. (Bloomberg News)
Franklin Templeton. (Bloomberg News)

“We are looking at new tech companies as their valuations have been reset,” Anand Radhakrishnan, chief investment officer for equities at Franklin Templeton’s India unit, said in an interview. “More importantly, there is data available about their business models.”

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Initial public offerings of Indian internet firms boomed in 2021 thanks to pandemic-triggered easy-money policy and government efforts to foster startups. The stocks were hit last year by caution over fundamentals and governance, magnified by the impact of the global tech selloff amid Federal Reserve policy tightening.

Radhakrishnan noted that some new tech firms have begun to show signs that they can generate profits, supported by first-mover advantages and big market shares.

Funds managed by Franklin Templeton bought at least 3.3 million shares of e-commerce logistics provider Delhivery Ltd. and more than 2 million shares of PB Fintech Ltd., the operator of online insurance marketplace Policybazaar, in November, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The purchases followed steep losses in the two stocks as well as One 97 Communications Ltd., parent of digital payments firm Paytm, online food delivery company Zomato Ltd. and FSN E-Commerce Ventures Pvt, which owns beauty product e-retailer Nykaa. Paytm suffered the most, with its market capitalization shrinking $12.7 billion.

“We didn’t participate in these IPOs, except Zomato, but now we see a lot more transparency, a lot more discussions with management are happening,” said Radhakrishnan, who overseas assets valued at $7 billion.

The firm, whose $1.3 billion India Flexi Cap Fund has outperformed 86% of its peers over the last three years, recognizes the disruptive nature of some of these businesses and “their medium-to-longer term ability to make money,” he said.

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