Private Investor: An Eastern promise that remains intact
Saturday 04 November 2006
I knew that I was right to hold my nerve and hang on to my shares in the JP Morgan Indian Trust when the Indian market tanked a few months ago. I didn't, however, expect to be vindicated quite so quickly.
If you've been following the Indian economy and financial markets closely (aren't we all?), you'll recall that the Mumbai markets took a bit of tumble in June, with something like a third knocked off the value of stocks over the course of a couple of weeks. Now, however, the market has fully recovered and who knows where it will end?
Part of the answer, just possibly, lies in looking at the past. Well, actually, none of it, if the truth be told, because we all know, don't we, that past performance is no guide to the future. I suppose what I mean to say is that it's just fascinating to have a glance at how the Indian market has performed over the long term.
I've had a bit of a trawl on the internet and found that the main Indian stock market index is called the Sensex, which has a base of 100 as of 1979. If only I'd been old enough, rich enough and far-sighted enough to have put money into India then. The Sensex crossed the 1,000 mark on 25 July 1990; the 2,000 mark on 15 January 1992; the 3,000 mark on 29 February 1992; the 4,000 mark on 30 March 1992; the 5,000 mark on 11 October 1999; the 6,000 mark on 2 January 2004; the 7,000 mark on 21 June 2005; the 8,000 mark on 8 September 2005; the 9,000 mark on 9 December 2005; and the historic 10,000 mark on 7 February 2006.
It created another landmark when it touched 11,000 on 27 March 2006. Last week the Sensex closed at a high of 12,903 on 28 October. I'm indebted to the contributors to Wikipedia for this data, and they point out that: "To reach from the 11,000 mark to the 12,000 mark only took 19 working days, the shortest time interval for a 1,000-point climb in Sensex history, surpassing the just-set record of 29 days that it took to reach 11,000 from 10,000."
So that's where we're coming from. Me, I started putting a few pounds a month into the JP Morgan Indian Investment Trust about 10 years ago, when the shares were priced at 50p or so; now they're approaching the £3 mark, mirroring the general climb in the Indian market. And they say the Indian growth story is only just beginning...
The JP Morgan Trust's main holdings are: Infosys Technologies, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Satyam Computer Services, Larsen & Toubro, ITC, Associated Cement, National Thermal Power, Bharti Airtel and Wipro. You don't have to be a great expert on these firms to see that the Trust's mix of industrial and hi-tech companies echoes that of the Indian economy as a whole, which is one of the most attractive features.
For this is a developing market that is not only penetrating the old industrial sectors of the West (Tata Steel's purchase of Corus being symbolic of that) but is also making its presence felt in the service sectors of the future - everything from call centres to software writing. Plus, as I have written many times before, there are India's traditional strengths of democracy, the use of the English language and an increasing openness to globalisation.
There are weaknesses too: economic nationalism is far from dead, there are obvious geopolitical tensions, corruption and rampant bureaucracy but I've always thought India would outflank China in the long term. All I need is for the Sensex to keep on rolling.
Maybe I should have put my JP Morgan Indian Investment Trust shares into an ISA wrapper, given the potential tax bill I'll one day be faced with (assuming all goes well, ahem). However, the fees always seemed too high, and I was interested to see that Ed Balls, economic secretary to the Treasury and "mini-me" to the chancellor of the exchequer, has been toying with the whole regime this week. He was wise to abolish the distinction between the maxi ISA and the mini ISA, and bring PEPs and the Child Trust Fund into the fold, a rare example of the Treasury simplifying the tax rules.
But it was a pity he's not taken the opportunity to uprate the limit of £7,000 per year, which looks set to be frozen and thus suffer a sort of "fiscal drag" as it declines in real terms. I mean, does the Government want to encourage us to save or not? Keeping up with inflation wouldn't have hurt much. Thanks for nothing, Ed.
- 1 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 2 Art Garfunkel: Paul Simon is a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...
Day In a Page
On the market for the first time in more than 50 years, this six-bedroom home is a project with vast potential - spread over three floors of living space.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Surrounded by rolling countryside, this four-bedroom barn conversion comes with a self-contained, one-bedroom annexe that could serve as an office or a holiday let.
Located near Harrogate town centre, this five-bedroom Victorian terrace is arranged over three storeys while a current study serves as an optional sixth bedroom.
A ground-floor flat in a country house, located a mile from Sway; this two-bedroom home would make an ideal weekend retreat on the edge of the New Forest.
On a popular residential lane in Caterham on the Hill, this four-bedroom family home offers a secluded garden and a convenient location for local schools and public transport.
Just a short walk from Westerham green, this three-bedroom cottage has a light kitchen with exposed brickwork and double doors that lead to a south-facing garden.
In a prime spot opposite the River Thames, this one-bedroom flat has an 18sq ft reception room with glass doors that open out to a private terrace.
Set in the hills above Llanwrda Village, west Wales, this 18th-century three-bedroom farmhouse has holiday-let potential from a separate barn conversion and annexe.
This charming end-of-terrace townhouse is arranged over three floors, with two double bedrooms and a private courtyard garden located at the rear of the property.
This four-bedroom Edwardian home offers a combination of original features and contemporary design after a renovation by the current owners.
Located in the University area, this semi-detached five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors - there's even a rear garden and off-road parking too.
Only a few minutes' drive from the charming town of Marlow, this two-bedroom home sits on the private riverside estate of Harleyford.
This detached four-bedroom home in Middleyard is arranged over two floors, with features that include a wood-burning stove and bespoke oak staircase.
In a row of eight detached Georgian residences, this five-bedroom home offers views of The Sound, Mount Edgcumbe and Cornwall from its impressive veranda and full-length balcony.
If you love cooking for friends this two-bedroom flat - complete with views of the iconic Battersea Power Station and an open-plan kitchen/dining area - will go down a treat.
Located above Grasmere village, this five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors and offers countryside views across Grasmere Lake towards Silver Howe.
Surrounded by the Western fells, this five-bedroom Georgian home retains many original features including panel-plastered ceilings, sash windows and fireplaces.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B, subject to change of use permissions.
A former period coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
This four-bedroom home has exposed brick chimneys and a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining - the doors open to the patio and garden.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof