Veda’s Murad Says Investors Are Concerned About India Corruption

Ridaa Murad, managing partner of New York-based Veda Asset Management LLC, comments on his outlook for Indian stocks. Murad, who manages the Veda Multi-Strategy India Fund LP, gave his remarks in an e-mailed response to questions.

India’s federal investigating agency arrested LIC Housing Finance Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Ramachandran R. Nair and seven bank and brokerage officials following a probe into bribes and improper loan disbursals.

The Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive Index, or Sensex, climbed 0.7 percent to 19,589.56 as of 11:03 a.m. in Mumbai today.

On foreign investor sentiment:

“Many foreign investors will be concerned by these actions, especially the breadth of the corruption issues. What began with the corruption issues that were related to the Commonwealth Games has ballooned across industries from telecom to micro finance to banks and one wonders where it ends. It reminds me that there is ‘never one cockroach’ so maybe more out there.”

On foreign inflows:

“In the worst case, this could lead to massive re-weighting of India in foreign investor portfolios.”

On share sales:

“Initial public offerings and other offerings in this sector which are in the queue will get hampered and face tougher scrutiny and probably not get priced as well as they would have otherwise.”

On Veda Asset’s investment strategy:

“We will look to add on any selloff in the names we like, but in the interim will create hedges via futures,” Murad said, naming SRF Ltd., MARG Ltd., SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd., Tilaknagar Industries Ltd., IndusInd Bank Ltd., Yes Bank Ltd., Canara Bank Ltd. and Educomp Solutions Ltd. among preferred stocks.

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