Bangalore-based professional C. Sangeetha is worried. “My financial advisor told me it was urgent for me to rejig my portfolio. The markets are in turmoil, and the stocks I own have plunged. I don’t know what to do. My husband retires next year. These are the only savings we have.” Pankaj Kumar, a government employee, has seen the value of his stocks decrease in the past year. “Markets have become so erratic,” he laments. Some have seen their recent investments vanish into thin air.
Even wealthy individuals and institutional investors find themselves on the same boat. Media reports indicate that foreign institutions withdrew billions of dollars from Indian stocks in the past few weeks. One of the richest Indians, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, whose stock portfolio is estimated at more than Rs 12,000 crore, is in trouble. Some of the stocks that he owns have nosedived in the past 12 months—DHFL by 81 per cent, Edelweiss Financial Services by more than a third, and Escorts by almost 30 per cent. In a recent TV interview, he said he had never seen such pessimism on Dalal Street.