Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have withdrawn a whopping Rs 37,976 crore on a net basis from the Indian markets in March so far amid the coronavirus pandemic triggering fears of a global recession. Overseas investors pulled out a net sum of Rs 24,776.36 crore from equities and Rs 13,199.54 crore from the debt segment between Mar 2-13, depositories data showed.
This translates into a total net outflow of Rs 37,975.90 crore during the period under review. Prior to this, foreign investors were net buyers for six consecutive months since September 2019. "The spread of coronavirus outbreak, which has now been declared a pandemic, and continued slowdown in the global economy, has created a vicious cycle which is consuming investors worldwide," said Himanshu Srivastava, senior analyst manager research, Morningstar Investment Adviser India.
Global markets reeled last week after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, and expressed deep concern over the "alarming levels of inaction". Given the ongoing scenario, foreign investors have taken a flight to safer investment options, such as dollar denominated asset classes and gold as against fixed income securities of emerging markets like India, he added.
Going forward, as coronavirus crosses boundaries and affects other countries, it may have a more serious impact on the already slowing global economy and on foreign flows into emerging markets such as India, Srivastava said. "The markets have been very volatile all over the globe. Many countries are expected to announce stimulus packages and tax breaks to support various industries as they deal with the effects of this virus' outbreak. When such announcements are made, investors' sentiments are expected to change," said Harsh Jain, co-founder and COO at Groww.
Also read: FPIs break 6-month buying streak over coronavirus fears