MUMBAI: The year 2019 has been heavily volatile for equity markets; but it has also seen the market capitalisation gap between the large- and small-caps widen to an extent that it would be hard to digest for the business world. Large-caps such as Reliance Industries gained more than 37 per cent, HDFC 24 per cent, HDFC Bank 21 per cent and ICICI Bank 50 per cent. RIL aced the rally with Rs 10 lakh crore in market capitalisation.
FMCG companies saw their volume growth slow sharply through the year; the FMCG index was down over 3 per cent in 2019. However, Hindustan Unilever, the country’s largest consumer goods maker, still gained more than 6 per cent as investors flocked to the safety of a few large-quality stocks. The year was rather a challenging one, with the economy witnessing de-growth. Sectors such as automobile, real estate and aviation suffered a heavy slump, while banking and financial services were weighed down by bad loan burden.
India’s economic growth dropped to 4.5 per cent in the July-September quarter, which had a bearing on sectors such as automobiles, where sales drove the slow lane through the year. Market analysts feel the year ahead will be challenging.“The return expectations would be very low in 2020. The Centre should put the reform agenda on fast-track to regain the growth momentum,” said Jitendra Gohil, head of equity research, Credit Suisse.
The volatile stock markets and the economic downturn had a bearing on the primary markets. In 2019, there were only 16 IPOs that collectively raised Rs 12,362 crore, while in 2018 there were 24 IPOs that raised Rs 30,959 crore, according to Prime Database.
Some of the IPOs this year saw blockbuster opening; for instance, IPO of Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation gave a return of over 128 per cent. Adding to this, some of the small financing firms such as CSB Bank and Ujjivan Small Finance Bank made credential gain of over 50 per cent.