Indian rupee and U.S. dollar banknotes are arranged for a photograph in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

What Foreign Investors Bought And Sold In April

Foreign investors remained net buyers for the third straight month ahead of 2019 election results, marking the longest streak of inflows in nearly two years.

Overseas investors pumped in over $3 billion into the equity market in April, according to data available on National Securities Depository Ltd.'s website. They infused about $2.4 billion in February and nearly $5 billion in March.

The inflows came as the benchmark Nifty 50 Index returned gains for the second month in a row in April. The 50-share gauge rose more than 1 percent last month even as volatility rose during the elections.

Foreign institutional investors remained buyers of oil and gas stocks for the fourth straight month, investing nearly 20 percent of the funds—or $610 million. The sector received the highest foreign monthly inflows. Of this, $426 million came between April 16 and April 30.

The S&P BSE Oil & Gas Index rose 0.58 percent last month, led by gains in Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. after Asia’s crude benchmark—Brent crude—rallied 6.5 percent.

The NSDL data doesn’t specify which shares foreign investors bought.

Reliance Industries Ltd. gained over 2 percent last month after reporting its fourth-quarter results. Although the company is classified under the oil and gas sector, a quarter of its revenue now is generated from its digital services, organised retail and other businesses.

Non-banking finance companies received the second-highest overseas flows last month. Foreign investors remained buyers for the sixth straight month in the sector and funnelled investments worth about $468 million.

Non-bank lenders were followed by the insurance and banking sectors, where overseas investors pumped in $398 million and $333 million, respectively.

Besides, overseas investors turned buyers of auto stocks for the first time since December 2018.

The Outflows

Overseas investors turned sellers in construction materials for the first time in two months. They sold stocks worth $176 million, the highest in six months. The sector witnessed the worst selloff last month.

The realty and metals & mining sector followed with outflows of $138 million and $120 million, respectively.