RBI warns of stock market bubble: Should investors be worried?

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) not too long ago warned a few attainable stock market bubble in its annual report for FY21. The central financial institution’s remark comes on the again of home stock markets touching file highs even because the nation’s financial system continues to face disruption because of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Anyone who has adopted the home stock market over the previous few months will know that the bourses have been performing impressively, ignoring economic disruptions during the second wave.

Though a short interval of uncertainty was seen throughout the preliminary interval of the second wave, benchmark indices S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 have once more began surging. On Friday, Nifty50 ended on a record high, whereas Sensex is inching ever nearer to the 52,000-mark.

The robust market efficiency is a stark distinction to actual financial development, which has suffered attributable to localised lockdowns imposed by most states during the second wave. Many financial indicators have additionally taken a giant knock throughout the second wave, although the scenario just isn’t as unhealthy as the primary wave.

So, the very fact that there’s a disconnect between the stock market and the actual financial system isn’t laborious to determine. Should investors be frightened? Here is all you’ll want to know:


In the context of monetary or financial markets, a bubble usually refers to a scenario the place the worth of a stock, monetary asset, an asset class or a complete sector exceeds the elemental worth by a major margin.

Stock market bubbles are normally laborious to foretell, particularly for many who don’t monitor the market in-depth each day.

There are normally 5 phases to a monetary or asset bubble and understanding every stage is crucial to keep away from wealth erosion. The 5 steps are displacement, increase, euphoria, profit-taking and panic.

Read | Explained: Why Indian stock market remains immune to 2nd Covid-19 wave

Simply put, the bubble is created on the premise of speculative optimism or demand, fairly than the monetary asset’s actual or basic value. When the bubble bursts, it results in huge sell-offs and costs decline quickly.

The housing bubble in 2008 that led to a extreme international recession is one of the most important examples, although there have been smaller cases previously as nicely.

A stock market bubble normally concerned inflated share costs which might be typically method larger than their firm’s basic worth together with earnings and belongings. The bubble can both contain the general stock market, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or shares in a selected sector.


According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), costs of dangerous belongings have surged throughout many nations and have touched file excessive ranges throughout 2020-21 on the again of unparalleled ranges of financial and financial stimulus.

The central financial institution stated the flip in market sentiments “following positive news on the development of and access to vaccines and the end of uncertainty surrounding US election results” had been some of the key elements that led to elevated valuation of international equities.

“The widening gap between stretched asset prices relative to prospects for recovery in real economic activity, however, emerged as a global policy concern,” RBI added.

It might be famous that in 2020-21, the BSE Sensex surged by 68 per cent to shut at 49,509 whereas the Nifty 50 elevated by 70.9 per cent to shut at 14,691 on March 31, 2021.

India’s fairness costs continued to surge, with the benchmark Sensex crossing 50,000 in January earlier this yr. And on February 15, Sensex touched a peak of 52,154 — a 100.7 per cent enhance from the stoop simply earlier than the start of the nationwide lockdown on March 23, 2020.

RBI stated, “This order of asset price inflation in the context of the estimated 8 per cent contraction in GDP in 2020-21 poses the risk of a bubble.”

While it’s troublesome to say whether or not the stock market is in a bubble in the meanwhile, investors ought to observe that inflated valuations are presently seen in stock markets throughout the globe. There are many different elements that additionally led to an increase within the valuation of home fairness markets.


The central financial institution highlighted that the quantity of liquidity that has been injected to assist international financial restoration might have “unintended consequences” in type of inflationary asset costs.

“Providing a reason that liquidity support cannot be expected to be unrestrained and indefinite and may require calibrated unwinding once the pandemic waves are flattened and the real economy is firmly on recovery path,” the RBI stated.

“Even considering the above expectations earning growth of the corporates, the stock prices cannot be explained by fundamentals alone. Present valuations, as in the past, are supported by improved corporate earnings. This part of Sensex increase can be seen as a rational trend,” the central financial institution added.

The RBI famous that the deviation of the precise price-to-earnings developments exhibits that the ratio is overvalued, whereas measures of dividend yield additionally sign that markets are getting “overpriced”.

While RBI has expressed concern about inflated stock market costs, the RBI additionally highlighted a number of different elements which have contributed to rising share costs together with excessive FPI influx. The fairness market has obtained a internet FPI influx of Rs 2.8 lakh crore in 2020-21.

Another motive behind larger stock costs might be the sharp rise in direct participation of retail investors, with over 1.43 crore Demat accounts opened throughout 2020-21.

Besides elevated exercise, useful resource mobilisation via preliminary public gives (IPOs), follow-on public gives (FPOs) and rights points elevated by 43.1 per cent to Rs 1.1 lakh crore throughout 2020-21 from Rs 76,965 crore within the earlier yr.

Though the Reserve Bank of India has issued a contemporary warning a few stock market bubble, it stated future monetary market actions would be guided by the progress made in containing the pandemic, the tempo of restoration of international and home economies, and developments in international liquidity and monetary situations.


At the second, the Indian stock market appears to be rising quickly after a interval of hesitation throughout the second wave.

Though minor corrections can be anticipated all year long, relying on the evolving Covid-19 scenario, market analysts are optimistic concerning the long-term efficiency of the home fairness markets in India.

A current report, primarily based on a ballot of analysts, advised that Sensex will exceed the record high it hit in February by the end of this year. The ballot of greater than 30 fairness analysts noticed Sensex including one other 5 per cent and hitting a file of 53,200 by the top of 2021.

It might be famous that Sensex is forecast to rise over 54,000 by mid-2022, indicating that the stock market is more likely to stay constructive, until it faces an unprecedented shock, which might break the constructive momentum and decrease sentiment

CA Rudramurthy, director at Vachana Investments, advised the information company that the fairness market at all times reductions what right this moment’s fundamentals are and as an alternative seems at what it’d be for the three to 6 months down the road.

“But trading will be more selective this year than in 2020, when it was more speculative and you could buy any stock and prices just kept rising – that bit is done,” Rudramurthy added.

Most analysts who participated in the poll feel that the risk to the Indian stock market from the second Covid-19 wave is low.

“All the unhealthy information from the Covid-19 second wave is finished and dusted and is already discounted in stock costs. Even if the anticipated third wave hits, it would not be a brand new scenario,” Rudramurthy stated.

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