Foreign investors had pulled out Rs 9,400 crore ($1.3 billion) from the capital markets last fortnight, after putting in money during the previous two months, due to widening of current account deficit owing to a surge in crude oil prices and depreciating rupee.
According to the latest depository data, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) withdrew Rs 4,318 crore from equities during September 3-14 and Rs 5,088 crore from the debt market, taking the total to Rs 9,406 crore ($1.3 billion).
Himanshu Srivastava, Senior Research Analyst at Morningstar, attributed the recent outflow to widening of current account deficit owing to a surge in oil prices, depreciating rupee, concerns over the government’s ability to meet fiscal deficit targets and lower-than-expected GST collection.
“All these factors deteriorated the country’s macro environment. It has also cast a doubt on the sustainability of the economic growth which is closely watched by the FPIs. This coupled with expensive valuation triggered a sell-off from FIIs in September,” he noted.
Additionally, given the global trade tensions, there has also been risk-aversion among foreign investors which explains their cautious stance towards emerging markets like India, which are considered to be riskier than their developed counterparts, he added.
“FPIs have sold consumer stocks this month which had touched lifetime high valuations. Considering the favourable base effect dwindling in the consumer stocks they would have found it challenging to beat market expectations. Therefore some correction was overdue in these stocks and FPI selling has triggered that on valuation concerns,” Reliance Securities Head Research Naveen Kulkarni said.