A pedestrian walking past the Bombay Stock Exchange is reflected in a puddle in Mumbai, India. (Photograph: Bloomberg)

FPIs Turn Net Sellers In September, Pull Out $2 Billion So Far

Overseas investors have pulled out Rs 15,365 crore or $2.1 billion from the capital markets so far in September, after putting in funds during the previous two months, on widening current account deficit coupled with global trade tensions.

The latest outflow comes following a net infusion of close to Rs 5,200 crore in the capital markets, both equity and debt in August and Rs 2,300 crore in July.

Prior to that, overseas investors had pulled out over Rs 61,000 crore during April-June.

According to the latest depository data, foreign portfolio investors withdrew a net sum of Rs 6,832 crore from equities from Sept. 3 to Sept. 21 and Rs 8,533 crore from the debt market.

Himanshu Srivastava, Senior Research Analyst at Morningstar, attributed the outflow to widening current account deficit due to a surge in oil prices, depreciating rupee, concerns over the government’s ability to meet fiscal deficit targets and lower-than-expected GST collection.

“All these factors deteriorated the country's macro environment. It has also cast a doubt on the sustainability of the economic growth which is closely watched by the FPIs. This coupled with expensive valuation triggered a sell-off from FPIs in September,” he noted.

Additionally, given the global trade tensions, there has also been risk-aversion among foreign investors which explains their cautious stance towards emerging markets like India, which are considered to be riskier than their developed counterparts, he added.

So far this year, FPIs have pulled out over Rs 9,200 crore from equities and Rs 46,510 crore from the debt markets.