FPI inflows: FPI portfolio value doubles to record $575 billion since March 2020 lows

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ET Intelligence Group: A sustained inflow of funds and market appreciation have pushed the portfolio value of the foreign institutional investors (FPIs) to a record $575 billion, the data from NSDL show. The share of FPIs in India’s market capitalization rose to 20.7% in the first fortnight of February 2021, a gain of 1.9% from the March 2020 lows; the total value of the FPI portfolio has doubled since then.

The FPIs have been net buyers of Indian equities in nine out of the past ten months. They have invested $ 36.3 billion (Rs 2.7 lakh crore) during the period. On the year-to-date basis, foreign investors have poured in $ 5.9 billion (Rs 43,676 crore) in Asia’s third largest economy.

Credit Suisse has recently upgraded India’s weight to overweight from earlier market weight following the earnings growth momentum, which is one of the best in the Asia-Pacific region. The upward revision in the consensus earnings of Indian companies has outpaced rest of the Asia-Pacific region since the third quarter of 2020. This has promoted global investors to raise wagers on Indian equities.

The FPI ownership in the BSE 200 index rose by 130 basis points sequentially to 24.6% in the December 2020 quarter. The domestic investors on the contrary trimmed their holding by 30 basis points to 13.3%.

Among the major sectors, the FPIs preferred automobiles, banking, and capital goods where their portfolio value appreciated by 121-204% since the March 2020 lows. In the percentage terms, the banking stocks had the highest increase of 4.4 percentage points in the FPI allocation to 36.19% as on February 15, 2021 compared with the March 2020 level, according to the NSDL data.

With signs of higher public and private capital expenditure, the bets on the capital goods stocks rose to a multi quarter high and also, substantially higher than the pre-COVID level. The order backlog of the 30 engineering and construction companies rose to $ 117 billion in the December 2020 quarter, which offers a greater revenue visibility. The FPI allocation to the capital goods sector rose by 1.2% to 4% as on February 15.

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