Foreign portfolio investors have bid for investment limits in Indian government securities worth Rs 16,708 crore in the debt investment limit auction, traders said. The bids received were lower than the Rs 18,437-crore debt limit available for auction. The provisional cut-off at the auction was at 0.0001 basis point, and the highest bid received was 1 basis point, traders said. The auction was held on the BSE’s ‘ebidxchange’ platform. The debt auction quota gives overseas investors the right to invest in bonds, up to the limit purchased. Foreign investors have used up 90.03% of debt limits available, and the total investment in government debt by FPIs stood at Rs 1.66 lakh crore as on June 14, depository data showed. FPIs have invested aggressively in Indian debt in 2017, taking the total investment to $13.3 billion as of June 14. On March 31, the Reserve Bank of India had increased the limit for FPIs in central government securities to Rs 1.85 lakh crore, from Rs 1.52 lakh crore. The limit for long-term FPIs, which include sovereign wealth funds, multilateral agencies, endowment funds, pension funds and foreign central banks, was increased to Rs 68,000 crore, from Rs 46,099 crore.
Traders expect the buying spree by the FPIs to continue during the year, driven by attractive returns on the securities as well as an appreciating rupee. The rupee has gained more than 5% since the beginning of this year.