Close to 3,500 fresh foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) registered with capital market regulator Sebi in 2016-17, an indicator that India remains an attractive destination. In comparison, about 2,900 FPIs had received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for the whole of the last financial year.
The number of FPIs with Sebi approval rose to 7,807 at the end of March 2017, from 4,311 at the end of the preceding fiscal, an addition of 3,496 such investors, according to the latest data from Sebi.
FPIs consider India as a preferred and stable market, given its macroeconomic stability, long-term growth prospects and ongoing economic reforms. Furthermore, several measures taken by Sebi added to its attractiveness, experts said.
Last fiscal, Sebi had raised the FPI investment limit for government debt, permitted them to invest in unlisted corporate debt securities as well as securitised debt instruments and allowed direct entry to well-regulated foreign investors for investing in corporate bonds.
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In a big revamp, Sebi in 2014 had released norms that clubbed different categories of foreign investors into a new class called FPIs.
FPIs 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 for them.
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 Indian markets. The registration remains permanent unless suspended or cancelled by Sebi or surrendered by an FPI.