Local Funds Emerge as the Only Bulls in India as Foreigners Sell

Morgan Stanley's Agarwal Sees India Opportunity

This week’s sell-off that pushed Indian equities to a three-month low hasn’t diminished domestic investors’ appetite for risk.

Local institutional investors, including mutual funds, bought stocks worth 8.6 billion rupees ($282 million) net on Wednesday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The inflow is the most in seven weeks and came on a day when the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex capped a seventh day of losses, the longest streak in 2017.

The deluge of money pouring into mutual funds and insurers is providing a buffer against outflows sparked by the risk-off sentiment across Asia. Local institutional investors bought shares worth $2.1 billion in September, even as their overseas peers remain sellers for a second straight month.

“Local buying definitely helped and we expect it to continue,” said Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Group Chairman at Inditrade Capital Ltd. in Mumbai.

The Sensex is still Asia’s third-best performer as investors embrace stocks amid falling returns from property and gold after last year’s cash ban. The shift is here to stay, Nilesh Shah, chief executive officer at Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Co., said in an interview.

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