ICICI Bank (IBN): A perfect stock for your watch list

By Paul Goodwin , Analyst and Editor of Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report

From Cabot Wealth Advisory, 9/8/08 Sign up for free Cabot Wealth Advisory e-newsletter

My stock idea for today is a big Indian bank, ICICI Bank (IBN). This private-sector commercial bank has grown from an arm of the World Bank into one of India’s leading banks. It introduced ATMs into India and was the first Indian stock to list on the New York Stock Exchange. With well over 700 branch offices, the bank is reaching out aggressively to the growing Indian middle class, and when the Indian economy gets back on the growth track, it will represent a real opportunity.

Right now, India is fighting the good fight against inflation, which means that interest rates are high. High interest rates put a damper on mortgages (in which ICICI is a domestic leader) and auto sales (the financing of which is also a strong point in the bank’s business). 

The dampening effects of rate hikes have pushed IBN, ICICI’s stock, down from 74 to 32, which is a heck of a haircut in anyone’s book. But the stock is now tightening up at 32, with narrowing swings of both highs and lows. This kind of chart pattern often leads to a useful base, and eventually to a breakout into another rally.

IBN is a perfect stock for your watch list as you ride out the current bear market. Presumably you’re heavily in cash in your portfolio which allows you to laugh at the winter of the stock market’s discontent.

When IBN starts to rise again, you should look for the rising price and soaring sales volume that indicates increasing support and jump in. 

Editor’s Note: The Cabot China and Emerging Markets Report is now 70% in cash. It’s this cash position that has allowed the Report to remain the top-rated investment newsletter in the ratings of the Hulbert Financial Digest. When the bear attacks, cash is king. But the real fun will start when the emerging markets get back into gear and begin their next bull run. If you’d like expert, proven advice about how to get the most out of investing in emerging markets, click here to get started on a risk-free trial subscription.

Paul GoodwinPaul Goodwin

Emerging Markets Specialist, Analyst and Editor of Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report

A researcher and writer for over 30 years, Paul Goodwin has been a member of the Cabot investment team and editor of Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report since 2005. Under Paul’s stewardship, Hulbert Financial Digest rated Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report the number-one-rated newsletter of 2006 with a 78.6% gain for the year, the number-one-rated newsletter of 2007 with a 74.1% return, and the top-performing investment adivsory for five years with a 17.9% annual return.