Popular US Retail Investors' Group That Drove Infamous 2021 Short Squeeze Now Hunts For Opportunities In Indian Share Market (CORRECTED)

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to clarify that the reference to Citadel Securities was incorrect and has been removed.

Popular U.S. retail investors group on Reddit, r/wallstreetbets, is now on the hunt for investment opportunities in the Indian stock market. This is the same group that was behind the infamous squeeze against GameStop Corp. short sellers.

What Happened: Retail investors on the popular investment subreddit, r/wallstreetbets, are beginning to train their eyes on the Indian stock market.

Looking for new avenues to invest their money in, a user, u/pondersassinorum, has put out a detailed thesis, "India is the play," regarding investing in the country.

Introducing the Indian market to other users, the poster highlights India's population, market, and government's economic stance, and the fact that many Indians speak English.

Indian economy's Q3 growth rate of 8.4%, as opposed to the U.S. whose gross domestic product, or GDP, grew at a meager 3.4% (annualized) in the same period, was another factor behind the poster's bullish stance on India.

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"In 2025 when all the d*mb elections are over and with rates falling globally, India is going to emerge as the global economic powerhouse."

Another aspect that plays to India's strengths, according to the poster, is the growing number of students enrolling in colleges.

"An estimated 53 million people are enrolled in college this year, a huge amount in tech/engineering. By 2035 that is expected to be 92 million."

When they graduate, they will form part of a skilled workforce, which should aid in increasing India's per capita GDP as well. For context, it stood at $1,560 in 2014, and it currently stands at $2,411, according to World Bank data.

"Let's face it, America is a dying empire. Our leadership are all clueless octogenarians," the poster added, expressing pessimism about the U.S. economy's future.

"Half of India's population is under 30. That's two USAs just right there."

At the time of writing, the Reddit post had nearly 1,700 upvotes and over 1,200 comments.

"India is a d*** juggernaut. Buy India."

For context, here's how the core benchmark indices of India and the U.S. have performed:

IndexYear-to-date1 Year5 Year
Nifty 507.93%25.11%100.15%
S&P 50014.52%23.76%84.09%
Dow Jones2.32%13.32%44.43%

Source: Morningstar, as of June 17, 2024

The Infamous GameStop Short Squeeze Of 2021

The r/wallstreetbets subreddit came into focus for the infamous GameStop short squeeze in 2021.

Video game retailer GameStop was the target of short sellers – which included hedge funds – with the short interest peaking at 140% at one point.

What this means is that for every 100 publicly available shares of the company, 140 were sold by short sellers. While that seems counterintuitive, it is possible in the equity markets in the U.S.

One user, who went by the name "Roaring Kitty" on YouTube and "DeepF***ingValue" on Reddit, now known as Keith Patrick Gill, called the bluff of the short sellers and made enormous gains. This made him instantly famous among users on r/wallstreetbets and other social media platforms.

Among those at the receiving end were Citron Research's Andrew Left, and Melvin Capital.

The short squeeze eventually led to Gill making epic gains, and he's back now for an encore.

While r/wallstreetbets lionized Gill and has been steadfast in its support for him, will its bull case thesis for the Indian stock market also materialize? Only time will tell.

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Photo courtesy: Shutterstock


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