India’s Sensex Hits A New All-Time Record High

India’s Sensex is on a roll this year. The index is up by over 4% so far this year. Last week it reached an all-time high of 75,636 before closing at 75,410 on Friday. This is indeed amazing. The Sensex reached 10,000 in 2017. Since then it has crossed peak after peak. It reached 25,000 in 2014 and crossed 50,000 in 2021 on the back of strong recovery from the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Currently India is in the midst of a national election and the results are expected on Tuesday, June 4th. It should be interesting to watch how the Sensex reacts and where it stands by the end of the year.

The following chart shows the YTD return of the Sensex:

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The following chart shows the 5-year return of the Sensex:

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Source: Google Finance

With the election results looming on the horizon and the market at record high, investors looking to invest in Indian equities can wait for the right opportunity.

For additional data on Sensex annual returns and a list of Sensex return charts click here.

Related ETFs and ETNs:

  • WisdomTree India Earnings (EPI)
  • The iShares MSCI India ETF (INDA)
  • PowerShares India (PIN)

Disclosure: No positions

EU Visa Agreements with Non-EU Countries: Graphic

A Schengen visa is required for non-Europeans to travel to the EU or the Schengen area countries. However the EU has visa agreements with many non-EU countries for citizens of those countries to travel to the EU without a visa. While most developed countries have this type of visa-free travel between them, I was surprised to find that the EU allows visa-free travel from many developing countries as well. For example citizens of Brazil, can travel to the EU without a visa for short-stays like for tourism purposes. In fact, most of the countries in Latin and South America have visa-free travel agreements with the EU as the graphic shows below. These agreements are reciprocal in the sense that citizens of the respective EU country can also visit the other non-EU country visa-free. So EU citizens can visit Brazil visa-free.

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Source: European Council and the Council of the EU

In the Middle East, UAE citizens can travel to the EU visa-free. Same goes for Malaysian citizens also.

One question that comes to mind is if Mexicans and other South Americans can go to the EU without a visa, why are they going there and stay there illegally instead of flooding into the US. Spain would be an obvious choice for Spanish-speaking countries due to the language and historical connections.

The Export and Import Partner Countries of India: Chart

India has the largest population in the world with a population of over 1.4 billion in 2022. In terms of size of the economy, the country is the fifth largest in the world. This year the GDP is project to cross $3.9 Trillion putting India behind Japan. From a trading partners perspective, the largest export destinations for Indian products and services are the US and the EU followed by the UAE. The UK accounts for just 2.2% of Indian exports based on 2022 data.

The following chart shows the export and import partners of India as of 2022:

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Source: The demographic wave: The tide is going out, Franklin Templeton Institute

China is the largest import partner of India followed by the EU, UAE and the US. The Middle Eastern countries of the UAE, Saudi Arabia are among the top import source countries for India due to oil and natural gas imports. Russia is becoming a major exporter of crude oil to India since it is selling oil at below market prices to India. According to Reuters, India imported 1.37 million barrels day (bpd) in 2023/24 which was up by 57% from the previous year.

Apple: The King of Buybacks

Apple(AAPL) is the world’s largest company in terms of market capitalization. As of Friday, the market cap stands at $2.91 Trillion with 15.33 billion shares outstanding. The market cap of many countries’ entire stock market is lower than Apple’s market cap.

From a performance perspective, Apple’s shares have been average to poor relatively so far this year. The shares are up by 2.28% YTD. However over the past 5 years it is up by an astonishing 325% excluding dividends. Though the returns are excellent, it can be argued that much of the rise in Apple’s stock price can be attributed to its buybacks. Apple is the king of buybacks. As Apple continued to buy back its own shares its stock price soared. The following chart chart shows the buybacks vs. total shares outstanding:

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Source: @Charlie Bilello, Creative Planning

Via Thinking out loud, Syz Group

From the above article:

Apple has repurchased no less than $625 billion worth of its own shares over the past ten years, which is more than the market apitalization of 492 S&P 500 companies… The delisting of such a large number of shares partly explains the stock’s excellent performance over the past decade.

It remains to be see if Apple can continue to earn excellent returns for investors like in the past.


Disclosure: No positions

On the Year-to-Date Returns of Exchange-Listed Foreign Bank ADRs

Some of the foreign stocks trading on the US exchanges have performed very well so far this year. The S&P 500 index is up by over 10% YTD and the KBW Nasdaq Bank Index which is one trackers for bank stocks has increased by 9% YTD. Among the foreign bank stocks, Argentinean banks have soared as the newly elected President Javier Milei is restructuring the fundamentals of the economy and bring its soaring inflation under control. The three argentine bank ADRs – Banco Macro(BMA), Grupo Financiero Galicia(GGAL) and Banco BBVA Argentina S.A. (BBAR) – are up by 77% to over 95%. The following table shows the YTD returns of exchange-listed foreign bank ADRs:

S.No.Company NameTickerStock price as of May 10, 2024 closeYear-to-date Change (%)Country
1Banco MacroBMA $54.67 95.47%Argentina
2Grupo Financiero GaliciaGGAL $32.37 85.87%Argentina
3Banco BBVA Argentina S.A.BBAR $9.68 77.57%Argentina
4NatWestNWG $7.76 37.48%United Kingdom
5Barclays BankBCS $10.27 30.20%United Kingdom
6KB Financial GroupKB $53.68 27.29%Korea
7Deutsche Bank DB $16.17 19.41%Germany
8Sumitomo Mitsui FinancialSMFG $11.36 18.29%Japan
9Banco SantanderSAN $4.80 17.63%Spain
10Mitsubishi UFJ FinancialMUFG $9.91 16.26%Japan
11ICICI BankIBN $27.55 15.73%India
12Banco Bilbao Vizcaya ArgentariaBBVA $10.46 14.16%Spain
13Mizuho FinancialMFG $3.85 13.66%Japan
14HSBCHSBC $43.65 9.79%United Kingdom
15Shinhan FinancialSHG $33.72 9.26%Korea
16Bancolombia CIB $32.95 8.84%Colombia
17Lloyds Banking GroupLYG $2.57 7.95%United Kingdom
18Woori Financial Group Inc.WF $31.09 2.32%Korea
19Banco de ChileBCH $22.01 -4.03%Chile
20Banco Santander ChileBSAC $17.91 -7.44%Chile
21Itau UnibancoITUB $6.10 -10.07%Brazil
22Banco Santander BrasilBSBR $5.65 -12.21%Brazil
23HDFC BankHDB $58.14 -12.25%India
24Banco BradescoBBD $2.72 -22.00%Brazil

Source: BNY Mellon

Note: The returns shown above are as of market close May 10, 2024 and do NOT include dividends.

Brazilian banks are the in the red YTD. Brazil is known as the “Country of the Future” and it never seems to be able to unshackle itself from an emerging market to a developed market. Due to political issues and other factors, even rising copper prices haven’t helped Chilean banks Banco de Chile (BCH) and Banco Santander- Chile (BSAC) stay in positive territory this year.

It remains to be see how these banks perform thru the rest of 2024.

Disclosure: Long BCH, ITUB, BBD, CIB, SAN and BBVA