India’s best-performing stock funds have bet on companies that produces chemical substances


Published On: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 | By:

India’s best-performing stock funds have bet on companies that produces chemical substances

For three funds that have delivered the biggest returns, this year Chemicals producers make up at least 14% of the portfolio according to the data available. Those bets have paid off thanks to the rising global appetite for specialty chemicals in industries such as automobiles and cosmetics amid a recovery from the pandemic. India is emerging as a hub for specialty chemicals, helped by favorable policy measures that include decisions such as imposing anti-dumping duty on some imports and a proposal for production-linked incentives. Producers have also benefited from a ‘China-plus-one’ strategy that has made companies around the world diversify their supply chains from the Asian superpower amid geopolitical concerns.

We continue to be very optimistic about the long-term prospects of the chemical industry in India,” as it becomes an important player in the global supply chain, said Samir Rachh, who helps manage the nearly $2 billion Nippon India Small Cap Fund, the best performer with a 42% return year-to-date.

A gauge of 10 chemical stocks owned by funds has beaten BSE Small Cap Index

The biggest holding in Rachh’s fund is Deepak Nitrite Ltd., a maker of phenol and acetone used in numerous applications including mouthwash and nail-polish remover. He initiated that position in 2017 and increased it in 2019.

The country’s chemicals companies are ramping up Capex investments to produce high-value goods and expand their share of the global market, said Venugopal Manghat, who manages the L&T Emerging Businesses Fund.

Four of the top five funds in India this year are those that focus on small-cap stocks, an asset class that has handily beaten the benchmark index. The S&P BSE Smallcap index has surged almost 40% in 2021, versus nearly 11% for the S&P BSE Sensex Index.

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