Even amid pullout, FIIs have raised their stake in certain companies

Pulling out over $42 billion or Rs 3.26 lakh crore from the Indian markets in the last eight months, foreign investors have been net-sellers in the Indian market during these straight months. FPIs have been selling across the board, though with some sectors seeing more pressure and some others less.

Foreign investors pulling out money from the Indian equity segment had made several headlines in the recent months.

Pulling out over $42 billion or Rs 3.26 lakh crore from the Indian markets in the last eight months, foreign investors have been net-sellers in the Indian market during these straight months.

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FPIs have been selling across the board, though with some sectors seeing more pressure and some others less.

The underlying reason behind the pullout is that the stock market has been witnessing significant volatility amid tightening of monetary policy actions through key lending rates hike to address rising inflation and geopolitical tensions. Rising interest rates are typically a deterrent to economic growth as it raises lending costs of the industries.

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That said, there are some large stocks where the foreign institutional investors have raised their stakes and they are ITC, Sun Pharma, ONGC, NTPC, PowerGrid and JSW Steel, said Sunil Damania, Chief Investment Officer at MarketsMojo.

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FIIs' stake in these companies rose 2 per cent, 0.9 per cent, 1.04 per cent, 0.2 per cent, 1.16 per cent, and 0.37 per cent, respectively, during the January-March quarter.

Besides, auto sector is doing well in this falling market and it's quite likely stronger hands like FIIs too may be participating in this upmove and statistically, there are 3 stocks among Nifty 100 space where in last 4 quarters had consistent rise in foreign investors stake, said Siddarth Bhamre, Head of Research at Religare Broking,adding that those stocks are IOC, Siemens, and NTPC.

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Asked if this is not the right time to invest in the stock market, which are the other safe asset options, Bhamre said equity always offers good investment opportunities in any market condition.

"As we highlighted above, many names among large cap spaces gave positive returns even in falling markets and these names are not from defensive sectors. In the current market scenario, only the dollar is doing well. Rising interest rates aka rising bond yields are taking bond prices down, commodities are correcting, real estate has liquidity issues, and prices are just stable not increasing, FD rates are still not attractive. So equity remains the asset class to be in but unlike the bull market not everything will go up and one will have to be very selective."

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In the small size company space, Globus Power, Kiri Industries, Restaurant Brand, Brightcom Group, Calcom Vision, Celebrity Fash, Axita Cotton, Lemon Tree Hotel, Indiabull Real Estate, and Camlin Fine are some of the stocks where FIIs raised their stakes, Damania said. Among them, Globus Power saw the highest rise in stake at 18 per cent.

"For investors who are not fully invested or who have raised cash in the recent past by booking profits, these times provide an opportunity to gradually raise the equity portion of their portfolio. While shortlisting investable stocks, one will have to be careful of not having exposure to sectors or stocks that have been derated due to very high valuations or very high financial forecasts that seem difficult to achieve," said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities, to a query on what must investors do amidst this volatility.

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Also, stocks that did well due to commodity uprun over the last one odd year need to be examined closely for sustainability of earnings, while stocks that could see a feeble or elongated recovery also need to be avoided, he added.

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Upon markets being in the negative territory, retail investors will refrain from making large new commitments in the markets except to average their holdings or to top up their equity portion in some favoured stocks, he said.

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