Investors seeking global growth for their portfolios have several good options and growing economies among which to allocate their capital. I recently wrote about opportunities in Brazil, and if you listen to the financial media much, you already know that China is supposed to drive global growth over the next decade. However, I suggest that investors also look at another Asian country that is growing with similar swiftness.
India has not kept pace with China's more rapid growth path over the past 30 years. Its democratic government has maintained managed growth, while China's mix of social- and market-based governing has pushed growth much more rapidly.
The major stock market indexes tell two different stories about which way these economies are headed. While the Chinese Shanghai stock market is down more than 15% on the year, India's Sensex just reached a two-and-a-half-year high. India has also picked up the pace on its rate of growth, recording an 8.8% year-over-year increase in gross domestic product in the second quarter of 2010. Some economists believe that this growth is not only sustainable, but could also increase to 10% by 2013-2015.
With the potential for so much growth, it would be small-f foolish for investors not to consider allocating some capital into India. Let's look at some stock picks that are poised to profit from this growing economy.
Tata Motors (NYSE: TTM )
Tata Motors is a strong play on the growing spending power of Indian consumers as the country's economy continues its rapid growth. The society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers reported that in August, car sales reached a record high in the country. The 158,764 cars sold represented a 38% year-over-year increase.
Tata's smaller energy-efficient vehicles are becoming more popular all over the world, increasing the company's global reach. However, they also face fiercer competition, since Ford (NYSE: F ) , Toyota (NYSE: TM ) , and Honda Motors (NYSE: HMC ) are all now making similar models for the Indian market. It will be interesting to see how the company responds to these encroaching rivals.
HDFC Bank (NYSE: HDB )
HDFC Bank is India's second-largest private-sector banking institution. In 2008, HDFC acquired Centurion Bank of Punjab, which will allow the company to make further headway into India's rural regions.
As growth in India continues at a fierce pace, the country's best banking institutions stand to benefit most from an expanding loan pool. As Indian citizens become wealthier and infrastructure buildout continues, the most well-capitalized and best-operated banks should see profits increase.
While strong economic growth is usually a good sign for banking profits, investors must also beware an overheated economy. In these situations, central bankers may step in, attempting to slow down growth by raising interest rates. A hike in interest rates will lower the demand for borrowing, hurting banks' margins.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (NYSE: RDY )
Dr. Reddy's was once a pharmaceutical company known mainly for its generic knock-off drugs, which were sent to emerging countries that could not afford pricey U.S.-made patented versions. However, as India's patent laws improve, and costs for Western producers continue to increase, Dr. Reddy's is becoming a global player. U.S. companies may also look to outsource some of their operations to Dr. Reddy's as the company becomes more efficient and reputable. In 2009, Dr. Reddy's created a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK ) , enabling GSK to better market and develop Dr. Reddy's products in the developing markets that the latter company already serves.
In addition, Dr. Reddy's conducts research on new treatments for diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and bacterial infection.
The Foolish bottom line
India's tremendous growth and future potential should have all investors interested in companies poised to benefit from its expansion. This list is a good starting point for your own research. What other companies do you think will benefit from economic growth in India? Sound off in the comment box below.