After betting $101 bn in 10 years, foreign investors ditching Indian stocks

New Delhi, Oct 24: Monsoon season may be over, but India’s investors are at risk from a different kind of flood.
Indian stocks have been the biggest emerging-Asian beneficiaries of the wave of liquidity that swept over world markets in the wake of the global financial crisis, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That may also make them the most vulnerable, now that the waters are receding.
Foreign investors have pumped a net $101 billion into the country’s equities from the beginning of 2009 through the end of last quarter, Bloomberg calculations using cumulative year-end net investment flow data show. That’s more than the combined offshore purchases of South Korean and Taiwanese stocks over the period. Thailand is the only emerging Asian market excluding China that has seen outflows.
On a proportional basis, foreign purchases of Indian stocks amount to just over 5 per cent of total market capitalisation. Taiwan and South Korea are the only other emerging Asian markets where offshore investment totaled more than 3 per cent of the market. By contrast, investment in Southeast Asian stocks has been relatively minuscule.
The flow data suggest that India’s Sensex index, which has fallen around 13 per cent from a high in late August, may be the most vulnerable to further outflows in the region if global risk aversion worsens. Foreign funds have pulled some $2.5 billion from the nation’s stocks so far this month, according to exchange data.