Foreign Institutional Investors (fii) in India

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About this sample


Words: 989 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Dec 18, 2018

Words: 989|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Dec 18, 2018

Foreign investment refers to the investments made by the residents of a country in the financial assets and production process of another country. For example – an investor from USA invests in the equity stock of HDFC Bank (an Indian Bank).

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FII don’t directly invest in the company through buying of shares. They usually go through the secondary route. Foreign investments in the country can take the form of investments in listed companies (i.e., FII investments), investments in listed or unlisted companies other than through stock exchanges. It may be through FDI or private equity/foreign venture capital investment way, investments through American Depository Receipts/Global Depository Receipts (ADR/GDR), or investments by non-resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) in various forms.

Economies like India, which supply comparatively higher growth than the developed economies, have gained favour among investors as engaging investment destinations for foreign institutional investors (FIIs). Investors are optimistic on India and sentiments are favourable following government’s announcement of a series of reform measures in recent months. According to Ernst & Young’s

(EYs) international Capital Confidence barometer (CCB) - Technology report, India ranks third among the foremost engaging investment destinations for technology transactions within the world. India is the third largest start-up base within the world with over 4,750 technology start-ups, and regarding one,400 new start-ups being supported in 2016, per a report by Nasscom.

FII’s net investments in Indian equities and debt have touched all record highs in the past financial year, backed by expectations of an economic recovery, falling interest rates and improving earnings outlook. FIIs net investments in Indian equities and debt stood at US$ 7.46 billion in 2016-17 (upto April 14, 2017). Cumulative value of investments by FIIs during April 2000-December 2016 stood at US$ 183.69 billion.

India-focused offshore funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) witnessed net inflows of $565 million in November and helped the overall tally to reach nearly $6.5 billion in 2017.

Equity mutual funds recorded the 17th straight month of net inflows with record Rs 20,362 crore (US$ 3.18 billion) inflows in August 2017 on account of rally in Indian stock markets. Equity funds received an inflow of Rs 2.86 trillion (US$44.6 billion) from November 2016 to October 2017.

The total market capitalization (M-cap) of all the companies listed on Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) rose to a record high level of Rs 146 trillion (US$ 2.27 trillion) on November 19, 2017 backed by positive sentiment in the broader market.

India has emerged as one of the strongest performers in terms of deals related to mergers and acquisitions (M&A). M&A activity in India more than doubled year-on-year to reach US$ 61.26 billion in 2016-17.

During 2017, India witnessed record private equity investments worth US$ 24.4 billion. Private equity (PE) investments in the logistics industry grew at 9 per cent to US$ 501.71 million during 2016-17 and are expected to grow at 8.6 per cent annually from 2015-2020 on the back of increased opportunities resulting from low entry barriers and Goods and Services Tax (GST).

There are certain myths / beliefs about FIIs which are not necessarily true

Myth -1: - FIIs do not invest in unlisted entities. They participate only through stock exchanges

Myth -2: - FIIs cannot invest at the time of IPO (initial public offering). Foreign investors investing in initial allotment of share through IPO or FPO or Private Issue are categorized as FDIs

Truth on 1 and 2: - As per Section 15 (1) (a) of the SEBI FII Regulations, 1995, a Foreign Institutional Investor (FII) could invest in the securities in the primary and secondary markets including shares, debentures and warrants of companies unlisted, listed or to be listed on a recognized stock exchange in India. In fact, FIIs are very active in the over the counter (OTC) markets and in the IPO market in India. However, subsequent to SEBI (FPI – foreign portfolio investors) regulations, FIIs are allowed to invest only in listed or to-be listed entities and only through stock exchanges.

Myth 3: - FDI has more direct involvement in technology, management etc. while FIIs are interested in capital gain and momentary price differences. Generally FDI involves a long term interest in the management of an enterprise and includes reinvestment of profits. In contrast, FIIs do not generally influence the management of the enterprise.

Truth on 3: - To some extant this notion is true and is emphasized in policy documents. For instance, consolidated FDI Policy of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) states that “foreign Direct Investment, as distinguished from portfolio investment (FII), has the connotation of establishing a“lasting interest” in an enterprise that is resident in an economy other than that of the investor”. However, of late, there have been occasions where FIIs come together to influence decisions in companies where they hold shares. The difference between FDI and FII, except for the fact that the latter necessarily has to be an institution, while FDI can come from an individual also, rather lies in the registration or approval process and to some extent in the individual investment limits or lock-in conditions specified for each category.

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The regulations for foreign investment in India have been framed by the Reserve Bank of India in terms of Sections 6 and 47 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 and notified vide Notification No. FEMA 20/ 2000-RB dated 3rd May 2000 viz. Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or issue of Security by a person Resident outside India) Regulations 2000, as amended from time to time. In line with the said regulations, since 2003, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has been registering FIIs and monitoring investments made by them through the portfolio investment route under the SEBI (FII) regulations 1995. SEBI acts as the nodal point in the registration of FIIs. Subsequent to SEBI (FPI) Regulations, 2014 depositories register and monitor the activities of the FIIs and SEBI will continue to be the regulator for the same.

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Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) in India. (2018, December 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from
“Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) in India.” GradesFixer, 17 Dec. 2018,
Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) in India. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Feb. 2024].
Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) in India [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Dec 17 [cited 2024 Feb 21]. Available from:
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