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A $57 Billion Manager Is Betting Big on Cyclical Stocks in India

(Bloomberg) — Shares of some lenders, telecom firms and utilities are among the top picks for India’s second-largest asset manager, as it bets on the economy to gradually emerge from the world’s worst Covid-19 outbreak.

With India sticking to localized curbs instead of a nationwide lockdown amid the deadlier second coronavirus wave recently, the impact on economic activity and businesses has been much lower, according to Sankaran Naren, chief investment officer at ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co. The firm oversees about 4.1 trillion rupees ($56.6 billion) in assets.

“India is yet to see a cyclical economic recovery and the business cycle is not as elevated as we see in some of the developed world,” Naren wrote in an email interview. “Unlike in a deflationary economy during which sectors like consumer staples and high-quality names gain, the current environment is best placed for cyclicals to do well.”

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