The confidence of many investors got jolted when over Rs 30,000 core of their money invested in trusted debt funds of reputed mutual fund (MF) company Franklin Templeton got stuck indefinitely after the world’s leading fund house on April 23, 2020 announced that it will close six of its debt mutual funds schemes. As such funds are less riskier than the equity funds, people often park their short-term money and even emergency funds in debt MF.
The strict lockdown that India imposed might have paved the way for disruptions in businesses and supply chains but apart from that it also helped in the emergence of a new category of businesses — The Essentials. As equity markets climb up and reach significantly higher from their March lows, brokerage firm Edelweiss says that it is time again to focus hard on businesses, and here the new essential category might as well be a new set of defensive stocks. “Classic defensives are well known, but these new ‘Virus defensives’ proved to be supply hedges,” the brokerage firm said in a report. While a nation-wide lockdown was imposed in the last week of March, the government had allowed just a few businesses to run while others were asked to shut shop temporarily, to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Professional forecasters veered towards a consensus that India’s economy will face its worst recession in 40 years, contracting by at least 5% this fiscal, a day before the statistics department releases the March quarter GDP print, which will partially reflect the unfolding impact of the pandemic on the economy.
Apart from the general weakness in the financial markets at present, sharp fall in some prominent stocks have caught the retail investors by surprise. Traders have resorted to panic selling, often at rates even less than a rupee, some over reports of allegations of fraud and others over poor corporate governance or fast dwindling financials. Such companies even saw the foreign investors lowering there bets on them over a period of time.
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