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Budget 2013: Winning back investor confidence key for markets, says Suresh Mahadevan

Budget 2013: Winning back investor confidence key for markets, says Suresh Mahadevan

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Winning back investor confidence is the Budget theme this year as far as the stock markets go. The government's reform drive since September 2012 has seen chary bulls step gingerly back into the ring.

Now what the investor is worried about is if Finance Minister P. Chidambaram will be able to take these initiatives forward.

As far as fiscal deficit numbers are concerned, there are no surprises for the stock markets, Suresh Mahadevan, head (India equities) at UBS Securities India, told NDTV Profit.

"There are expectations from this Budget, and my sense is that the Finance Minister, who is on the offensive, will stick to the numbers (a fiscal deficit of 5.3 per cent for the current financial year and 4.8 per cent for the next fiscal year). This will be very important to bring back investor confidence," Mr Mahadevan said.

"People are now looking at how the Finance Minister is going to widen the tax base, whether it's going to be through the Direct Tax Code (DTC) or otherwise," he added.

Mr Mahadevan expects this year's Budget to include both reforms as well as populist measures given the general elections in 2014.

So, are the bulls ready to charge?

"The year gone by may have been a bad one with regard to economic data, but the economy is reasonably stable. Unless you are forward-looking, it's difficult to invest in a growth market like India. Since September, policy changes have taken place. This has been followed by RBI action on rates...money has flowed in, no doubt, and we will continue to see funds flowing in as valuations are still attractive," Mr Mahadevan said, signing off with the rider, "...but all of this holds true only if the government continues its momentum."

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