India overtakes Hong Kong to become fourth-largest stock market

A bronze replica of the Charging Bull of Wall Street, inside the premises of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai. File photo
| Photo Credit: REUTERS

The Indian stock market has pipped Hong Kong to become the fourth-highest equity market globally, Bloomberg reported.

The combined value of shares listed on Indian exchanges reached USD 4.33 trillion as of Monday’s close, versus USD 4.29 trillion for Hong Kong, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

India’s stock market capitalszation crossed USD 4 trillion for the first time on December 5, 2023, with about half of that reportedly coming in the past four years.

The top three stock markets are the U.S., China, and Japan.

Cumulatively, the past 12 months have been stellar for investors who parked their money in Indian stocks. Though there has been some turbulence, the calendar year 2023 gave handsome monetary dividends to stock market investors.

In 2023 itself, Sensex and Nifty gained 17-18 per cent, on a cumulative basis. They gained a mere 3-4 per cent each in 2022.Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index cumulatively declined 32-33 per cent over the past year, data showed.

Strong GDP, political stability

Firm GDP growth forecast, inflation at manageable levels, political stability at the central government level, and signs that the central banks the world over are done with their monetary policy tightening have painted a bright picture for India – which many agencies have termed to be the fastest-growing major economy.

The strong inflow of funds from foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) lately also supported the stocks to march towards all-time highs. Notably, foreign portfolio investors have again trained their sight towards India, becoming net buyers in the country’s stock market. In the process, it helped Indian benchmark stock indices taste their all-time highs recently.

India, which last year became the most populous country has positioned itself as an alternative to China, attracting fresh capital from global investors and companies alike, thanks to its stable political setup and a consumption-driven economy that remains among the fastest-growing of major nations, the Bloomberg report said.

As Indian stocks rallied, it coincided with a historic slump in Hong Kong, where some of China’s most influential and innovative firms are listed.

According to the news report, stringent anti-COVID-19 curbs, regulatory crackdowns on corporations, a property-sector crisis and geopolitical tensions with the West have all combined to erode China’s appeal as the world’s growth engine.

According to the news report, new listings have dried up in Hong Kong, with the Asian financial hub losing its status as one of the world’s busiest venues for initial public offerings (IPOs).

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