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South Asian stock markets: hopes still not overlooked by omicron


2021 has been a good year for the major stock markets in South Asia. The compilation of indices closing the first trading week of the new year shows that 2022 is also set to be good. The major stock markets in the region got off to a good start. Does morning show day?

Let’s take a look at the major South Asian stocks as of January 7.

In Sri Lanka, the main ASPI index closed at 13,280.94 points, up 5.18% on the week, Nepal’s NSPE closed at 2,672.61 points, up 4.29%, The Bangladeshi benchmark DSEX-30 saw a weekly increase of 3.42% to close at 6,987 points. In Pakistan, the benchmark KSE-100 closed at 5,345.65 points, up 1.68% per week. The first week of the new year ended for Sensex, the Indian benchmark, at 59,744.65, up 0.24% on the week. With a heavier weight in the Indian market, a relatively lower rate of increase is not irrational there compared to smaller neighboring markets.

Now let’s come back to the annual changes of South Asian markets in 2021. Bangladesh benchmark DEX-30 rose 25.08% in 2021, Sri Lankan benchmark rose 80.5 %, India’s main Sensex index gained 22% year on year, Nepal’s NPSE was up more than 17 percent and in Pakistan the benchmark KSE-100 only rose 1.9 percent over of the past year.

Global fund managers and economic analysts around the world had previously said 2022 would be a better year for most South Asian markets. They stressed that businesses and industrial sectors in this region of Asia will strengthen this year as the Covid situation subsides.

Now, the omicron virus strain is spreading rapidly in India and other countries in Southeast Asia, but market watchers are still hoping for a boost in stocks in 2022. The death toll from omicron remains much lower to that of the two previous large waves of Covid-19. Locals are not as scared of the virus as they had been in previous waves. People are now more interested in carrying on a normal economic life. So hopes are now stronger.

Previously, Hong Kong-based Asia Frontier Capital-AFC said that in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka 2021 is a good year for small and mid-cap stocks, but large-cap stocks may fare better in the future. 2022. The forecast for AFC 2022 also noted that the Bangladesh market has strong fundamentals in tradable stocks, so there is room for investors here to pour money and get returns.

Global analysts have also included Sri Lanka and Pakistan, where reasons exist for rational increases in stocks. The revival of domestic markets and strong demand from export-oriented industries are just a few. Garment factories in Bangladesh are now inundated with orders from American and European importers. Thus, the forecasts of cross-border analysts are rather optimistic. Let’s wait and see how the stock markets actually perform in 2022.

The writer is a Dhaka-based broadcast journalist and writes on economic affairs. E-mail: [email protected]