FPIs Turn Net Sellers After Three Months In September; Pull Out Rs 3,419 Crore
A collection of U.S. one-hundred dollar bills sit on a black background in this arranged photograph in Hong Kong, China. (Photographer: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)

FPIs Turn Net Sellers After Three Months In September; Pull Out Rs 3,419 Crore

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Snapping their three-month buying spree, overseas investors turned net sellers in Indian markets in September due to uncertainty ahead of the U.S. presidential polls and surging coronavirus cases.

Foreign investors withdrew Rs 3,419 crore on net basis from Indian markets in September, according to depositories data. A net of Rs 7,783 crore was withdrawn from equities, while the debt segment saw inflows of Rs 4,364 crore.

FPIs had been net buyers in Indian markets in the three straight months to August. They had invested Rs 46,532 crore in August, Rs 3,301 crore in July and Rs 24,053 crore in June on net basis.

"FPIs have turned cautious ahead of the U.S. presidential election. Also, renewed fears of re-emergence and surge in coronavirus cases across countries have raised concerns about the possibility of fresh lockdowns being imposed in infected regions," said Himanshu Srivastava, associate director – manager research, Morningstar India.

Besides, amid the surge in equity markets over the last few months without any meaningful correction, and appreciation in the Indian rupee against the greenback, FPIs would have found this as an opportune time to book profit ahead of impending uncertainty, he said.

For investment in the debt segment, he said amid aggressive bond buying by the U.S. Fed, the yields have come down, prompting FPIs to look for other attractive investment destinations like Indian debt markets which could potentially offer better returns.

According to Harsh Jain, co-founder and chief operating officer at Groww, since both the U.S. presidential candidates have varying outlook towards national and international policy, investors are being cautious about future investments given the tension that has existed between China and the U.S. over the past few years.

In the short term, until there is more clarity with regards to the U.S. presidential election outcome, such volatility is expected to continue, Jain said.

In the longer term, however, due to quantitative easing, resulting liquidity and the attractiveness of the Indian market, inflows into emerging markets are expected to continue.

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