More than 1,300 fresh foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) were registered with SEBI in 2017-18 owing to continued interest in the Indian capital markets.

In comparison, close to 3,500 new FPIs were registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in the preceding financial year. The number of FPIs registered with SEBI climbed to 9,136 at the end of March this year from 7,807 a year ago.

According to market analysts, the key reason for increasing FPI registrations is the continued interest in the Indian equities and bonds. In addition, the end of the earlier FII (foreign institutional investors) and sub-accounts regime, which had ended in September 2016, necessitated all such entries to register as FPI, they added.

Moreover, FPIs have put in over Rs 25,600 crore into the Indian equities and another Rs 1.2 lakh crore in the debt markets during the period under review.

In a big revamp, SEBI had in 2014 released norms that clubbed different categories of foreign investors into a new class called FPIs. They have been divided into three categories as per their risk profile and KYC (know your customer) requirements, while other registration procedures have been made simpler.

They are granted permanent registration as against the earlier practice of approval granted for one or five years to overseas entities seeking to invest in the Indian markets. The registration remains permanent unless suspended or cancelled by SEBI or surrendered by an FPI.

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