More than 500 fresh foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) were registered with Sebi in April-June quarter of this year, indicating that India remains an attractive destination, as per the latest data from the markets regulator. This comes on top of close to 3,500 new foreign FPIs registering with Sebi last fiscal year (206-17). According to Sebi data, the number of FPIs with the regulator’s approval rose to 8,348 at the end of June 2017, from 7,807 at the end of March, an addition of 541. FPIs consider India as a preferred and stable market, given its macroeconomic stability, long-term growth prospects and ongoing economic reforms, experts said. Furthermore, several measures taken by Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) added to its attractiveness, they added. “This could be attributed to relative opportunity or better prospects of growth in the Indian economy as compared to other emerging markets as well as developed countries,” said Vidya Bala, Head of MF Research, Fundsindia.com.
In June, the board of Sebi decided to ease the entry norms for overseas investors by permitting a direct access to FPIs from eligible jurisdictions. Recently, Sebi raised FPI investment limit for government debt, permitted them to invest in unlisted corporate debt as well as securitised debt instruments and allowed direct entry to well-regulated foreign investors to invest in corporate bonds.
In a big revamp, Sebi 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 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.