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Small stocks on a roll, beat blue-chips for second straight yr

Mumbai :On Dalal Street, it was minnows ruling the roost in 2015 as mid-cap and small-cap stocks beat their blue-chip peers for the second year in a row with an average return of up to six per cent.

As the year 2015 draws to a close, mid-cap and small-cap stocks of the BSE have rallied by nearly six per cent and five per cent, respectively, as against a decline of over six per cent in the bellwether BSE index Sensex on a full-year basis.

However, the gains recorded by the medium and small-size companies remained much below the huge returns of up to 60 per cent they generated in the previous year 2014.

“Growth expectation from markets increased tremendously in 2014 when for the first time in 40 years a single largest party came to power. However, due to political compulsions the fireworks did not go off as expected,” said SAMCO Securities’ CEO Jimeet Modi said.

“Markets had already built in those growth expectations which eventually were belied and markets corrected in 2015. The large-caps having huge businesses could not deliver those growth numbers but small and mid-cap could, due to their nimbleness and lower base effect, this lead to their lesser down fall than large-cap,” he added.

The Sensex touched an all-time high of 30,024.74 on March 4 this year, while it hit a one-year low of 24,833.54 on September 8.

The mid-cap index scaled its record high of 11,666.24 on August 10 and a low of 9,983.55 on May 7.
The BSE small-cap index hit its all-time high of 12,203.64 on August 5 and a low of 10,178.98 on August 25.

“This year, the Sensex and Nifty are down by around 7 per cent so far. This comes after a spectacular return of around 30 per cent in 2014. In 2014, market ran ahead of fundamentals expecting a rebound in GDP growth and corporate earnings growth in FY’16,” said V K Vijayakumar, Investment Strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas.

“This expectation did not materialise and therefore the market corrected. However, mid and small-caps continued to do well. And, the party is still on,” he noted.

Most of the major Sensex and Nifty stocks have huge external exposure through exports and commodity prices. Since exports have been doing poorly and metals and commodities have been bleeding, this segment suffered.

On the other hand, most mid and small-caps have domestic orientation and therefore, they have been benefiting from the nascent domestic cyclical recovery, Vijayakumar said.

Market experts said that FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investors) have been continuously selling since August 2015, while Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs) have been buying through out the year.

Domestic equities suffered their bloodiest carnage on August 24, when the Sensex crashed by 1,624.51 points—its biggest single-day fall—and over Rs 7 lakh crore got wiped out from the investors’ wealth on a sharp global sell-off triggered by a rout in Chinese markets.