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Foreign Investors Buy Net 5.13 Billion Rupees of Indian Stocks

Overseas investors bought a net 5.13 billion rupees ($95.4 million) of Indian stocks on May 4, raising their investment in the equities this year to 442.3 billion rupees, according to the nation’s market regulator.

Foreigners bought 35 billion rupees of shares and sold 29.9 billion rupees, the Securities & Exchange Board of India said on its website today. Foreign funds bought a net 5.67 billion rupees of bonds, taking total inflow into debt this year to 169.3 billion rupees, the data show. They put 421 billion rupees in bonds in 2011.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today deferred a plan to introduce rules to curb tax avoidance by a year after the proposals, announced on March 16, stoked concern that foreign investment will decline and hurt growth in Asia’s third-largest economy. Overseas funds sold a net 11.1 billion rupees of shares last month after being net buyers in each of the first three months of 2012.

Foreigners have invested 4.886 trillion rupees in stocks and 1.377 trillion rupees in bonds since they were allowed into the country in 1993.

India’s $1.2 trillion stock market, Asia’s fifth-biggest, is influenced by flows from overseas. Inflows from abroad surged to a record in 2010, making the BSE India Sensitive Index the best performer among the world’s top 10 markets. The largest-ever outflow in 2008 led to the biggest annual slump of 52 percent.

Offshore funds pulled out 27.1 billion rupees from local equities last year, compared with record flows of 1.33 trillion rupees in 2010, as Europe’s debt crisis threatened the global economy and cooled demand for emerging-market assets. That led to a 25 percent drop in the Sensex, the second worst annual loss, and sent the rupee to an all-time low.

The regulator provides data on shares bought and sold by large investors, including trades in the primary and secondary markets, with a delay of at least a day.

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