Reposing their faith in Indian markets, foreign investors have made net inflows of a staggering amount of Rs 1.10 lakh crore (nearly USD 20 billion) in stocks here during 2013, while taking their cumulative investments in the country's equity market to a record level of close to USD 150 billion.
The final numbers for 2013 may even exceed the level seen in 2012, when FIIs made a net infusion of Rs 1.3 lakh crore (USD 24 billion) in equities, as a few days are still left in the current calendar year.
According to experts, the inflows are expected to improve further in 2014 as the state assembly election results have brightened the chances of a BJP-led government at the Centre, on which foreign investors are said to be putting their bets.
At gross level, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) purchased stocks worth about Rs 7.8 lakh crore in 2013 and sold equities to the tune of Rs 6.7 lakh crore – translating into a net inflow of Rs 1,10,792 crore (USD 19.7 billion) so far.
This was the second consecutive yearly inflows by foreign investors after pulling out a net amount of Rs 2,714 crore (USD 358 million) from the share market in 2011.
Despite their unpredictable 'hot money' investment, these overseas entities have been amongst the most important drivers of Indian stock markets.
The huge inflows came despite the number of FIIs registered in India dipping to 1,742 this year from 1,759 at the end of 2012.
Many market experts expect a BJP-led government would be more pro-reform and speed up legislative steps needed to spur economic growth.
Destimoney Securities MD and CEO Sudeep Bandhopadhyay said, "FIIs are expected to be bullish on the Indian stocks in 2014, despite the US Federal's decision on tapering."
"FIIs are looking forward to a stable government that can move reforms process faster, irrespective of which political party comes to power at the Centre next year. Besides, a strong performance by BJP in the recent assembly elections have further strengthen the chances of a stable government at the Centre," he added.
This is the third time in history that net FII inflows for a year have crossed the Rs 1 lakh crore mark and analysts are optimistic about the next year. In 2010, overseas investors had made a record Rs 1.33 lakh crore (USD 29 billion) net investment into the share market.
However, FIIs have kept away from the debt market and pulled out net