The U.S. has become the number one source of foreign institutional investments, or FIIs, for India, numbers from the country's market regulator show, as flows have swelled to nearly $10 billion this year.
According to data compiled by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, or SEBI, investments by foreign institutions in India have increased in the months leading up to the elections, as investors have flocked back to the country, drawn in by the promise of future reforms when a new government takes control of the nation in June. And, U.S.-based investors have managed to push Mauritius, which was once the largest source of foreign fund flow into the country, to the second spot, even as the country's benchmark stock index has touched record highs.
"India is definitely relatively better placed than majority of the emerging market countries and India has been seeing consistent inflows in the last five weeks,” Rishav Dev, an equities strategist for Quant Securities, told Moneycontrol, a local news website, adding that among emerging markets, "India would be the country where most of the FIIs are bullish on or overweight on right now.”
Net investments have reached nearly $10 billion so far in 2014 while cumulative growth is close to $200 billion, the Press Trust of India, or PTI, reported, citing SEBI data. And, since the beginning of 2014, net investments into the Indian equity market by foreign investors crossed $5 billion while investments into the country's debt market was also nearly $5 billion, bringing the total to $9.9 billion. Overall investments from the U.S. at the end of 2013 was worth nearly 4.4 trillion rupees ($72.18 billion).
FIIs have pushed the country’s benchmark stock index, the BSE Sensex, up by more than 7 percent in 2014 as foreign investors invested nearly $3.3 billion in stocks in March, compared to an investment of $237 million in February and $117 million in January. The Sensex hit an all-time high of 22,939 on Friday, rising more than 60 points, while the NSE Nifty index hit a record high of 6,869.85.
According to PTI, there are close to 1,700 registered FIIs in India. Since the Indian market opened to FII investments in 1992, close to $167 billion have been invested into equities and nearly $30 billion have been invested in the country's debt markets, bringing the total to nearly $200 billion.