External debt reaches $496 bn at Sep-end

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India's external debt reached $495.7 billion at the end of September quarter, up 5.1 per cent over end-March 2017, primarily on account of increase in foreign investment in the debt segment of capital market.

On a sequential basis, total external debt at end-September 2017 increased by $10 billion (2.1 per cent) from the end-June 2017 level.

"The rise in external debt during the period was primarily due to the increase in foreign portfolio investment (FPI) in the debt segment of domestic capital market included under commercial borrowings," the finance ministry said in a statement.

Some increase in short-term debt primarily due to trade-related credit also contributed to the overall increase in total external debt. The release further said the maturity pattern of India's external debt indicates dominance of long-term borrowings.

"At end-September 2017, long-term external debt accounted for 81.3 per cent of India's total external debt, while the remaining (18.7 per cent) was short-term external debt," it said. 

Further, the shares of government (sovereign) and non-government debt in the total external debt were 21.6 per cent and 78.4 per cent respectively, with the former's share increasing from 19.4 per cent at end-March 2017.

"This was mainly due to the increasing level of foreign portfolio investment in government securities," it said. The US dollar denominated debt accounted for 50 per cent of India's total external debt at end-September 2017, followed by Indian rupee (35.7 per cent), SDR (5.7 per cent), Japanese Yen (4.4 per cent), Euro (3.2 per cent), Pound Sterling (0.6 per cent), and others (0.4 per cent).