Signalling an upbeat foreign investor sentiment after the BJP stormed to power in the heartland state of Uttar Pradesh, foreign portfolio investors have pumped in a net of Rs 54,255 crore into Indian equities and debt markets in March, the highest monthly inflow ever.
The previous high was an inflow of Rs 36,045 crore in July 2014, two months after the Modi government came to power at the Centre.
Until Tuesday, FPIs invested a net of Rs 30,203 crore into the equity market and another Rs 24,051.9 crore into the debt market. These are the highest monthly inflows received by debt and equity markets ever. While the previous monthly high for the equity markets was Rs 28,563 crore in October 2010, that into the debt market was Rs 22,935 crore seen in July 2014.
Market experts say that the political outcome in March, especially the result in UP, lifted concerns over political stability and ongoing reforms and most FPIs are now of the view that the ruling party at the Centre is on course to push the reform agenda.
Manishi Raychaudhuri, Managing Director, Asian Equity Strategist at BNP Paribas, said: “The mood among FPIs is clearly upbeat. And a significant part of that upbeat mood is contributed to by the present government. After the recent state election outcomes, it has only got reinforced as FPIs believe that it could provide the necessary political capital for the administration to engage in more reforms.”
Inflows in India are not in isolation and experts say that it is in line with the deluge of flows being seen by emerging markets.
The FPI flows stood strong even as domestic institutional investors went for profit booking when the markets surged towards new highs. Until Tuesday, the DIIs had sold net equity holdings of over Rs 7,500 crore.
The strong inflows in March have not only pushed the benchmark Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange and Nifty at the National Stock Exchange to new all-time closing highs but also strengthened the rupee against the US dollar.
While Sensex closed at 29,531 on Wednesday, it had closed at an all time high of 29,648 on March 17. Similarly, Nifty closed at 9,143 on Wednesday while it hit an all-time high closing of 9,160 on March 17. On Wednesday, the rupee closed at a 17-month high of 64.9 against the US dollar, following the continuing strong inflow of foreign investments.