”Globally and in India, the market cap to GDP ratio touched an all-time high due to large liquidity flows, low interest rates, expectation of early return to normalcy and low returns from other asset classes,” said Dhiraj Relli, MD & CEO of HDFC Securities

Equity investors reaped handsome rewards in 2021 as their wealth grew nearly Rs 78 lakh crore by dint of impressive market rallies despite pandemic shocks.

In what turned out to be a historic year, the Indian stock indices went past multiple milestones and as the curtains came down on the last trading day of 2021, the 30-share Sensex made an annual gain of 10,502.49 points or 21.99 per cent.

The Sensex soared past the momentous 50,000 and 62,000 levels this year as it sustained the momentum after the pandemic-triggered crash in March 2020.

During the entire 2021, the key index made monthly gains in nine and closed with losses in only three months of the year.

August turned out to be the most fruitful as the benchmark recorded mammoth gains, jumping 4,965.55 points or 9.44 per cent. The index reached its all-time high of 62,245.43 on October 19.

The market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies zoomed by a massive Rs 77,96,692.95 crore to reach Rs 2,66,00,211.55 crore this year. Market capitalisation, which indicates the notional wealth of investors, touched a record high of Rs 2,74,69,606.93 crore on October 18.

And these feats are all the more significant against the backdrop of the world continuing to battle the uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

”What a year 2021 has been… The globe recovered from the COVID pandemic but faced another round of virus spread in March. However, resilient Nifty kept rising through the year till October and then saw some decent correction.

”Globally and in India, the market cap to GDP ratio touched an all-time high due to large liquidity flows, low interest rates, expectation of early return to normalcy and low returns from other asset classes,” Dhiraj Relli, MD & CEO of HDFC Securities, said.

Reliance Industries Limited is the country’s most valued firm with a market valuation of Rs 16,01,382.07 crore, followed by Tata Consultancy Services (Rs 13,82,280.01 crore), HDFC Bank (Rs 8,20,164.27 crore), Infosys (Rs 7,94,714.60 crore) and Hindustan Unilever Limited (Rs 5,54,444.80 crore) in the top five order.

The BSE benchmark settled at 58,253.82, a gain of 459.50 points or 0.80 per cent on the last trading day of 2021 on Friday.

Markets underwent some correction towards the end of the year as the BSE benchmark declined over 6 per cent from a record high in October amid high valuations and the Omicron scare.

”While Omicron threat and liquidity withdrawal concerns have led to downside pressure on markets in near term, earnings momentum has been strong and has provided downside protection, thus keeping markets range bound over last few weeks,” Hemant Kanawala, Head – Equity at Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Co Ltd, said.

A number of main board initial public offerings during the year, with many of them receiving heavy subscription from the likes of Devyani International and Nazara Technologies, also added to the overall market optimism.

Shrikant Chouhan, Head – Equity Research (retail) at Kotak Securities said, ”2021 has been an eventful year for the equity markets and various other asset classes. Market was extremely concerned about the potential impact of the second wave of COVID, however, it proved to be less adverse for India as compared to the developed markets”.

The Sensex gained 15.7 per cent in 2020. The market capitalisation of BSE-listed firms had zoomed by Rs 32,49,689.56 crore to reach Rs 1,88,03,518.60 crore in 2020.

”Catastrophic pandemic turned as an unprecedented gain to the world equity market through unlimited fiscal and monetary support.

”Domestically, it was supported by the biggest ever investment by retail investors. Reforms undertaken by the central government improved domestic economic outlook despite slowdown in world economy,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said.