In the email to staff, Byju Raveendran said that it was “business as usual” at the company.
As counting day for elections to five states nears, the nation’s equity markets are gearing up for a rollercoaster ride, with analysts urging investors to tread cautiously and consider hedging strategies to navigate potential turbulence. The recent surge in India’s blue-chip Nifty 50 index, hovering near record highs, has been nothing short of impressive. A five-per cent rally in November alone, and an 11 per cent in- crease over the year, reflect a market that has been on an upward trajectory, seemingly unfazed by external factors. However, as results of crucial state elections loom, analysts are sounding a note of caution, advising investors to hedge their portfolios against the impend- ing volatility. Exit polls released on Thursday have only added to the complexity of the situation, painting a mixed picture that leaves room for speculation and uncertainty. In this landscape, prudent investors are looking beyond the headlines, analysing the nuances of the political scenario and its potential impact on the financial markets. One strategy gaining attention is the use of options to hedge portfolios. The recommen- dation to buy put options with specific strike prices is not just a precautionary measure but also a reflection of the intricacies at play. A put option provides a safe- guard, allowing investors to sell the underlying asset at a predetermined price. This move is particularly rele- vant in the current climate, where political events are notorious for triggering market mood swings. The divergence highlighted by analysts between the Nifty 50, perched just 200 points away from all-time highs, and individual stocks hitting new 52-week highs raises eyebrows. It suggests a market that may be riding on a sense of complacency, underestimating the potential impact of the upcoming elections results. It is this complacency that prompts a call for a prudent appro- ach, a reminder that even in a bullish market, risks lurk around the corner.
The cautious sentiment is further echoed by Soci- ete Generale’s recent downgrade of Indian equities from “overweight” to “neutral.” The looming general elections are cited among the reasons for this shift in stance, emphasising the sensitivity of markets to polit- ical events. Indeed, history has shown that abrupt political changes can jolt markets, and this time seems to be no exception. The anticipation of a 2 to 4 per cent potential fall in the Nifty 50 if BJP faces setbacks in key states, underscores the significance of risk man- agement. Investors are being urged to consider out- of-the-money protective puts, strategically setting strike prices below current levels. This approach not only provides a safety net against market down- turns but also reflects a proactive stance amid the pre- vailing uncertainties. The mixed signals from exit polls serve as a reminder that markets, like politics, are inherently unpredictable, and a cautious approach is the need of the hour.