Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) have demonstrated their confidence in the Indian equity market by pumping a staggering Rs 37,316 crore in May. This substantial investment, the highest in the past six months, can be attributed to the robust macroeconomic fundamentals and the reasonable valuation of Indian stocks. FPIs play a crucial role in the Indian economy as they bring in foreign capital and contribute to market liquidity. This article explores the recent surge in FPI investments in Indian equities, the factors influencing their decisions, and the potential impact on the markets.
Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) and Their Investment in Indian Equities
Definition and Role of FPIs
Foreign Portfolio Investors, also known as Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), are entities that invest in the financial markets of a country other than their own. These investors include mutual funds, pension funds, endowment funds, sovereign wealth funds, and hedge funds. FPIs bring in substantial foreign capital, enhancing the liquidity and depth of the Indian equity market.
Recent Investments by FPIs in Indian Equities
Data available with the depositories reveals that FPIs made a net investment of Rs 37,316 crore in Indian equities during the month of May. This follows their net investment of Rs 36,239 crore in November 2022. The sustained buying by FPIs has significantly contributed to the upward momentum of the NSE benchmark index Nifty, which has gained 2.4 percent so far in May.
Factors Influencing FPI Investments
Several factors influence the investment decisions of FPIs in Indian equities. Himanshu Srivastava, Associate Director – Manager Research at Morningstar India, highlights that a resolution on the US debt ceiling and positive domestic macroeconomic data could attract fresh asset flows from foreign investors. Shrey Jain, founder and CEO of SAS Online, emphasizes that the outlook for FPI flows has improved due to the completion of the quantitative tightening cycle in the US and India’s recent outperformance compared to global equities.
Reasons for FPIs’ Increased Investment in Indian Equities
Strong Macroeconomic Fundamentals
The strong domestic macro-outlook of India, coupled with healthy growth prospects and a resilient performance of various industries, has fueled FPIs’ optimism towards Indian equities. Factors such as the encouraging trajectory of inflation, the pause stance of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and India’s favorable growth prospects amidst a recessionary global scenario have contributed to this positive sentiment. Nitasha Shankar, Head – PRS Equity Research at YES Securities, acknowledges the reasonable valuations of the equity market as another factor driving FPIs’ interest.
Reasonable Valuation of Stocks
FPIs perceive Indian stocks to be reasonably valued, making them attractive investment options. The current earning season has provided further support to this perspective, indicating better growth prospects for Indian companies. This, combined with the overall performance of the Indian equity market, has further strengthened the case for FPI investments.
Outlook for FPI Flows
Experts anticipate a favorable outlook for FPI flows in Indian equities. The completion of the quantitative tightening cycle in the US and India’s relative outperformance compared to global equities have contributed to this positive projection. These factors, along with the strong macroeconomic fundamentals and reasonable valuation of Indian equities, make the Indian market an attractive destination for foreign investors.
Impact of FPI Investments on Indian Markets
Potential Positive Effects on the Markets
The significant investments by FPIs have the potential to generate positive effects on the Indian markets. Increased liquidity, market depth, and enhanced investor sentiment can contribute to a bullish market trend. This influx of capital can fuel economic growth, support the development of Indian companies, and encourage domestic investments.
NSE Benchmark Index Performance
The sustained buying by FPIs has resulted in a 2.4 percent increase in the NSE benchmark index Nifty during May. This upward momentum is expected to continue, driven by the confidence FPIs have shown in the Indian equity market.
FPI Investments in Other Asset Classes
In addition to equities, FPIs have also invested Rs 1,432 crore in the Indian debt market so far in May. These investments diversify FPI portfolios and contribute to overall market stability. The presence of FPIs in multiple asset classes strengthens the resilience of the Indian financial system.
Outlook for FPI Investments in Indian Equities
Comparison with Other Markets
India stands out as one of the best-performing markets amidst global struggles. Markets such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Brazil have experienced similar positive trends. FPIs are recognizing the potential of the Indian market and allocating their investments accordingly.
Sector-wise Investments by FPIs
FPIs have displayed a broad interest across various sectors, including automobiles, capital goods, healthcare, oil and gas, telecom, and financial services, particularly banking. This diversification of investments indicates confidence in the growth prospects of different sectors within the Indian economy.