February 29, 2024

Navneet Munot is the MD and CEO at HDFC AMC

“Now I’m develop into demise, the Destroyer of Worlds” – Krishna’s phrases from Bhagavad Gita flashed previous J Robert Oppenheimer’s thoughts as he witnessed a blinding fireball engulf the sky after the check of the atom bomb.

We helplessly watched the dance of demise and destruction in Israel, Gaza, Ukraine and Armenia-Azerbaijan. Praying for peace to prevail!

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The NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Group) gasoline retains Zelensky’s battle alive. Putin put in nukes in Belarus whereas nurturing a nexus with Nuke powers – North Korea, Iran and China. Wagner warlord Prigozhin threatened Kremlin. Within the Machiavellian world of lord Putin, no Prigozhin or Navalny can co-exist.

Barbaric act by Hamas on the fiftieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur struggle is past condemnation. Netanyahu retaliated with rage. Civilians in Gaza are stripped of the naked minimal: breath, bread and band-aids. Cries from hospitals convert closest allies into critics. Ships are shunning Suez. Qatari PM, the grasp mediator, has a buzzing cellphone line.

Checkmate or chess mate?

Harmless life rely gained’t determine the winner in these wars. Each side stay well-supplied with the brute drive of man, machine, and cash. Weapon distributors would be the sole winners. An eye fixed for an eye fixed makes the entire world blind. The world wants a Gandhi to examine lasting peace.

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It’s the twentieth anniversary of the assault on Iraq by Bush, Blair and firm utilizing Weapons of Mass Rhetoric. Eliminating Saddam turned rattling expensive. Iraq stays in chaos.

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Years after overthrowing the dictator, the Sudanese nonetheless await day by day necessities and democracy. The continent watches coups in Niger and Gabon. Brazil bolted Bolsonaro out however one other Trump fan, hardliner Javier Miles, gained Argentina. Venezuela’s declare on Guyana Essequibo’s oil created turmOil.

Scandinavian nations Naatu Naatu-d with NATO. The EU (European Union) welcomes the Balkans. Italians bid bye to the Chinese language Belt-and-Highway. Sunak sacked Suella whereas Cameron got here again. Dealing with the loudest struggle sirens since WWII, Russian blackmail for gasoline and grains, an more and more isolationist US, stagnant development and bitter strife on immigration, Europe wants management to repair The whole lot, In every single place, All at As soon as.

Bulls, bears, and million-dollar baggage

SVB tumbled down the valley, Silvergate closed its gates and Signature had a mismatch. The lengthy bull market in bonds made banks overlook period danger. Frankly talking, the loosening of Dodd-Frank through the Trump period can be in charge. Trump’s tightening on immigration set the stage for a labour scarcity later. Late Kissinger mentioned, “Leaders are accountable not for working public opinion polls however for penalties of their actions”. No arrest can put to relaxation Trump’s pursuits and recognition. Biden, the oldest President in US historical past is bidding once more.

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Fitch ditched the US from the AAA membership. Janet’s closet is way borrowed. Greenback’s Weaponisation would really feel ill-timed given the US’s funding wants. Debt ceilings prolonged however the ground of bi-partisanship has crumbled.
Central banks can declare victory within the battle in opposition to inflation. Make no mistake — the struggle will likely be lengthy. The Inflation Genie is tamed however not corked again within the bottle. De-globalisation, local weather change and wage re-pricing pose structural dangers. Extremely-low charges had been an aberration and created excesses. Brace for ‘larger for longer’.

Harry Markowitz left for the ultimate frontier. Whereas Nasdaq, Nifty and Nikkei high-fived their solution to the financial institution, arms had been wrung in confusion elsewhere. Whereas the smile of risk-averse Gold smelled of worry, the blistering rally in Bitcoin baffled many. The trilogy of unsure geopolitics, shorter macrocycles and Gamblification of markets will fatten left tail dangers. The appearance of algos and AI can amplify growth and bust cycles.

Minnows of Russel 2000 lastly caught up, however S&P has by no means been as top-heavy and tech-heavy. Is that this time completely different from the invincibility of Nifty 50 within the 70s, GE and Cisco in 2000 or Petro China in 2007?

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Bernard Arnault topped wealthiest as these with moneybags splurged like by no means earlier than. One million-dollar ‘made to order’ Gucci bag provides ‘Crocodile’ tears. Queues of opulence exterior luxurious outlets and shoplifting throughout the road are an outline of deepening disparity.

Jensen Huang deserves it for making Nvidia a trillion-dollar chip. Brief sellers obtained ripped. Hats off Nadella, Microsoft Excels on Cloud 9.

Following Gorman at Morgan is Ted powerful. Mars enters Resort Chocolat as prospects salivate for wholesome and sustainable. UBS’s platform obtained Fatter And Fitter after gulping Credit score Suisse. Mattress Tub and Past fell into the chapter pond. Japanese company tradition is present process a seismic shift. WeWork lastly admitted it didn’t work. I count on surprise Work in AR-MR-VR.

Sam Altman was a powerful contender. No ‘Board’ video games can management or delete Altman. This ‘Bahadur’ is a pure chief of the Synthetic Intelligence universe. Generative AI, my ‘2022 Particular person of the 12 months’ continues to make waves. However potential perils, that is essentially the most transformational drive underway. Kudos to the EU for steps on AI regulation.

Elon’s ‘X’-factor

Elon Musk needs the ‘Earth’ to freely specific on X. Gained’t permit advertisers like Disney to ask “(wh)Y”. It’s a Z-level dedication to a very free speech platform. Tweets (X) and tantrums apart, his ambition and execution at SpaceX are exemplary.

I considered Charlie, the mental colossus. Munger’s psychological fashions menu made Buffett wealthy and Berkshire Hathaway what it’s. A Day by day Journal of his wit and knowledge can enhance our odds of success.

EM (rising markets) buyers had a 12 months of reflection – India good points, China pains. The nice China reopening commerce fizzled out. Buyers are Puzzled for the fitting causes: Coverage uncertainty, Property rout, Peaking inhabitants. Zhongzhi, the lender’s shadow looms giant. China appears to be at an early stage of Japanification. It’s all about debt and demographics. Dictatorship provides a harmful dimension. My two cents to TenCent buyers: No set guidelines in Xi’s ‘video games’.

Saudi Arabia’s MBS bets massive on sports activities whereas constructing infrastructure that’s past creativeness.

Beyoncé rocked at Grammys. Diljit Dosanjh Dazzled at Coachella. Tussi Chha Gaye! A era misplaced its Buddy in Perry. With hundreds of thousands grooving in her billion-dollar exhibits, Taylor Swiftly broke all information. The ‘Fearless’ singer will likely be celebrated for ‘Eras’ to return.

2023 was the most well liked within the final 1,25,000 years. Frequent floods, famine and fires flaring up from Libya to Syria, Canada to California, Morocco to Afghanistan replicate our collective failure. We’d like a trinity of political, scientific and monetary options. World Banks on Banga for a brand new Bretton Woods. COP28 in UAE places fossil gasoline on the desk. We will’t chill on fossils ceaselessly. Placing Planet and Folks with Earnings is Woke up and never Woke-capitalism.

Lotus blooms, rocket flies

India’s message of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” resonates properly. A 21-canon ovation to our management for including the African Union to the G20. The New Delhi Declaration was a unbelievable feat for a fractured world. Indian diplomacy deserves it: mushy promotion of millets, mandapams and Make-in-India to a tough posture on many points.

India, essentially the most populous nation on the Earth, is on the Moon. Actually. Rocket girls at ISRO ought to be position fashions for each Barbie. I salute the Silkyara tunnel rescuers. A nation’s soul is thought by the way it treats its weak.

I.N.D.I.A is an efficient acronym, however a very good alliance wants management and camaraderie to beat acrimony. Lotus suffered in Karnataka however ‘Modi Assure’ encashed Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh. Vishnu, Bhajan, Mohan… Previous guards give (taken) (a)means. Ajit left Pawar for Energy. Cries from Manipur pained our hearts. Central Vista testifies to a transition from the colonial previous to a assured future. The Girls’s Reservation Invoice is a trigger for celebration. Could Kashmir’s Backyard Courts blossom with the Supreme perfume of peace and prosperity.

Indian regulators deserve it for maintaining macro and markets in good stead: Financial coverage or Foreign exchange administration, cautioning states on public debt or lenders on ‘Non-public debt’, withdrawing massive pink notes or strengthening digital nodes. JPMorgan’s Index desk is richer with Indian bonds’ inclusion. Higher to bond with 007(%).

UDay referred to as it a Day. Could Vaswani run the financial institution with ‘Arjuna’s eye’ like his illustrious predecessor. HDFC brings India to the worldwide league desk of largest banks in market cap. Jio obtained Mutual with BlackRock. Rajiv ji of GQG: everybody needs a cue, what’s subsequent within the queue.

India’s Market Cap marked a brand new excessive with FPI holding % at a multi-year low. SIP by SIP, MFs scaled Mount 50 (Trillion?). Sahi Hai. Coverage prudence and retail resilience include volatility. Buyers rejoiced in PSUs’ resurgence as DIPAM (lamp) of Profitability with Scale. The federal government ought to divest through the fest.

12 months of Mega good points for Micro, Mini and Midcaps. It’s Pouring IPOs. Promoters and Non-public markets celebrating Public Exits (PE). SMEs SMEaring throughout. Amidst loud, cheery bell ringing, warning is usually a casualty. Tens of millions are betting their future(s) on Choices. Keep in mind: wealth is patiently fermented with a give attention to fundamentals, not immediately brewed with bytes and buttons. GST toll on players’ Dream run. Byju’s class should give attention to Governance.

PLI (production-linked incentive) plugs India into world provide chains, however the thrilling a part of exports stays within the service sector. Subsequent, Indian tourism is on the runway for a supersonic flight.

Cool Aussie ‘Head’s stumped a billion hearts. Let’s give it to them, an astounding accomplishment in Ahmedabad. Hail King Kohli for breaking the holy report. Spanish Senoritas scored the mighty FIFA World Cup. Younger Alcaraz is the discuss of the city, but it surely’s Djoko who courts the Crown. Kiptum’s marathon report defines the human Race’s limitless potential. India’s dash to 100+ medals on the Asian Video games appeared like a Mission Unimaginable, however sporting Jawans and Pathaans made it doable. Kudos!

RIP, MS Swaminathan, the commander of India’s Inexperienced Revolution. We owe you our Toast. 60 years in the past, the gravest problem earlier than the Indian PM Lal Bahadur Shastri, was foodgrain scarcity. There have been huge protests. He exhorted Indians to skip one meal each week in 1965. On this dire context, the scientific genius of Swaminathan converging with the political artistry of C Subramaniam triggered the Inexperienced Revolution. India now exports extra rice than the following three exporters put collectively!

The convergence of coverage reforms in India and know-how will set off the same revolution in healthcare. The Nationwide Well being Authority is constructing a Healthstack to rework well being the way in which IndiaStack and Aadhar remodeled funds and public providers. 500 million Indians have already got their well being accounts on the ABHA platform. Past Abha (glow) of comfort, this information reservoir can practice AI for correct analysis and trendspotting. The federal government has nearly doubled the variety of MBBS seats and medical faculties. Coverage push for integrative healthcare will cross-pollinate the most effective of Allopathy, Ayurved and different sciences to deal with physique, thoughts and soul holistically.

2023 noticed the groundbreaking approval of the primary gene-editing (CRISPR) therapy. And the approval for ISM3091, the inaugural AI-designed drug. The timeline and price of drug improvement will shrink as AI joins forces with human instinct. Exponential progress in AI and declining genetic sequencing prices can herald revolutionary cures for illnesses like most cancers. Fascinating improvements are underway in low-cost diagnostics and gadgets. Smartphone-based ECG prices a fraction of the normal one. Similar with a novel low-field MRI. New kits for routine lab assessments permit inexpensive analysis on the level of care. Broadband and Bhashini convergence will allow a affected person in rural Assam to speak in Bodo language to a super-specialist in Mumbai, receiving a prescription in Bodo in return.
The traditional dream of common well being maybe led a clever sage to put in writing on a clay pill with a dried twig dipped in hope:
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः। सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिदुःखभाग्भवेत ||

(Could all be at peace, could all be free from illness, could all see what’s auspicious, could nobody endure.) We could by no means get freedom from harm and infections, however we stand nearer than ever to securing inexpensive and accessible pursuit of fine well being.

Standing ovation to the ‘New Age of HealthTech’, my Particular person of the 12 months 2023. Want you a really completely happy 2024.

The author is MD and CEO at HDFC AMC

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