India tops emerging markets in foreign portfolio investor flows in 2018

The Indian markets have managed to attract the highest foreign portfolio investor (FPI) flows among the emerging markets (EMs) this year.

According to data, overseas funds have net purchased equities to the tune of $1.5 billion in the Indian markets so far in 2018. In comparison, most other EM peers have seen overseas investors pulling out money.

Despite cornering a high share of FPI flows, India is an underperformer in the EM basket. On a year-to-date basis, the S&P BSE Sensex is down 2.3 per cent in dollar terms and is little changed in local currency terms.

Experts say the high issuance in the primary market is the reason for FPI flows not moving the needle much in terms of market performance. So far this year, IPOs worth over Rs 190 billion ($2.9 billion) have hit the market. There has been another Rs 300 billion ($4.5 billion) worth of transactions in listed companies, including Tata Consultancy Services (block deal) and Idea Cellular (institutional placement).

The bulk of the FPI flows into the domestic market this year have been sucked out by such issuances, leaving little for the markets.

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