Overseas investors invested only Rs 6,554 crore in Indian markets on net basis in February, as they adopted a cautious stance amid coronavirus scare, subdued economic data and disappointing corporate earnings. According to the depositories data, Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) pumped in a net amount of Rs 1,820 crore into equities and Rs 4,734 crore into the debt segment between February 3 to 28. This took the total net investment to Rs 6,554 crore during the period under review.
On a positive note, the data, however, showed that FPIs have been net buyers in the Indian markets since September 2019. “Like other global markets, the Indian markets too came in the line of fire by the coronavirus scare. FPIs have been wary of investing in markets which rely on tourism as the spread of virus can adversely impact their prospects and economic growth.
"From this perspective, Indian equity market is better positioned among such group of countries and hence it has been attracting foreign flows,” Himanshu Srivastava, Senior Analyst Manager Research, Morningstar Investment Adviser India said. Market participants, however, believe that headwinds to foreign investment flows are expected to continue over the coming weeks.
FPIs have adopted a cautious stance on the back of lack of growth in the domestic economy, disappointing corporate earnings and social unrest that the country is facing, he added. The 30-share sentitive index Sensex logged its second-biggest one-day fall in history on February 28 on coronavirus concerns.
According to Harsh Jain, co-founder and COO at Groww, an online Mutual Fund Investment Platform, "India's GDP increased to 4.7 percent in the last quarter, which is a good news. But given the influence this virus has on the global markets, it is doubtful that FPIs will make any solid investments in the next few weeks."
On the economy front, India's GDP growth slipped to a nearly 7-year low of 4.7 percent in October-December 2019, weighed by a contraction in manufacturing sector output, according to official data released February 28.