FPIs sold more in past year vs 2008 global financial crisis

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The ongoing sell-off by foreign portfolio investors (FPI) in Indian equities is turning out to be the highest selling spree since the global financial crisis of 2008.

During the past 12 months, cumulative selling was worth $36 billion, as against A$28 billion during the global financial crisis, said brokerage house ICICI Securities.

Sectorally, bulk of the FPI selling over the past 12 months has been concentrated around IT, banks, NBFCs and industrials.

“However, inclusive of primary inflows, the net TTM outflow from FPIs is much less at $18.3 bn driven by record IPO-related inflows over the past one year,” the brokerage said.

The aggregate equity holding by FPIs stood at Rs 45.5 trillion as of February, 2022, which is 18 per cent of the aggregate listed Indian equities (Rs 252 trillion), a dip of 200 basis points from the March 2021 levels, it said.

But the best part is that rising share of foreign direct investments as a source of financing current account deficit is reducing the economy’s dependence on FPI flows, it said.

Also, the market is witnessing consistent buying by domestic investors in the face of unprecedented selling by FPIs during rare and extreme fear-inducing events seen over the past few years such as Covid pandemic and now due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“This is a clear positive surprise and heralds the structural deepening of domestic savings into equities in India. Such behaviour of aggressive buying during declining stock prices by domestic investors should result in improved long-term outcomes for their portfolios vs buying in a high-optimism phase of the market, and thereby setting off a virtuous cycle.”

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