By Bharath Rajeswaran
BENGALURU (Reuters) – Foreign portfolio investors (FPI) were major buyers of Indian equities in the first half of December, making the highest-ever purchases in a fortnight, National Securities Depository data showed.
Lower U.S. bond yields on expectation of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve, the Reserve Bank of India raising India’s growth forecast, and state election results setting the stage for policy continuity in 2024 have spurred buying, analysts said.
The FPI inflows worth 427.33 billion rupees ($5.15 billion) in the first half of December were just shy of purchases made in all of July 2023, and could reach the highest level since August 2022 if the trend holds for the rest of the month.
FPIs had turned net buyers in November, after selling in the previous two months.
“India’s economic outlook is robust with close to 7% multi-year GDP growth likely,” said Jefferies analysts in a note dated Dec. 15, with the brokerage expecting earnings growth of close to 15% for Nifty 50-listed companies in fiscal 2025.
“Foreign investor positioning is light and hence corrections will likely get bought into,” Jefferies said.
India’s benchmark indexes Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex rose about 6.6% each in the first half of December, and are on course for their best month since July 2022.
“Once you have a large amount of foreign inflows like what we have seen in the first half of December, that is going to trigger a rise in domestic equities,” said Avinash Gorakshakar, head of research at Profitmart Securities.
FPI inflows in fiscal 2024 so far stood at 1.74 trillion rupees as of Dec. 15, and were on course for the highest inflows in a fiscal year since 2021.
FPIs had sold Indian shares in fiscal 2022 and 2023.
($1 = 83.0100 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)