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Delhi weather: Maximum temperature to hit 40 degrees today, says IMD


The maximum temperature is likely to hit 40 degrees Celsius in Delhi on Saturday, going by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast. Partly cloudy skies are also on the forecast for the day.

On Friday, the maximum temperature settled at around 39.3 degrees Celsius, a degree above the normal, at the Safdarjung weather observatory. Meanwhile, the minimum temperature early on Saturday was 24.3 degrees Celsius, four degrees below the normal.

The maximum temperature crossed 40 degrees at a few weather stations in the city on Friday. The weather observatory at the Ridge in North Delhi, for instance, recorded a maximum temperature of 41.5 degrees Celsius. The observatory at Mungeshpur in Northwest Delhi recorded 41.4 degrees Celsius, while Najafgarh in Southwest Delhi recorded 41.9 degrees Celsius.

At 8.30 am on Saturday, the temperature was 29.6 degrees Celsius. The relative humidity was 58%, higher than the 40% recorded last evening.

The maximum temperature over northwest India is likely to increase by around two degrees over the next 24 hours, according to an IMD bulletin issued on Saturday.

Parts of northwest India are likely to receive rainfall from June 27 onwards. Rainfall is likely over Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh from June 27 to 29 on account of easterly winds, going by the IMD forecast. Scattered to fairly widespread rainfall is also on the forecast for northwest and central India from June 30 to July 2. Rainfall remains on the forecast for Delhi from June 28 to July 1.

The maximum temperature is set to fall to around 31 degrees Celsius on July 1, according to the IMD’s forecast for the next six days. The minimum temperature could range from 24 to 27 degrees Celsius over the next six days.

On Friday, the air quality in Delhi was in the ‘moderate’ category, when the air quality index (AQI) was 197, higher than the figure of 140 recorded on Thursday.





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If inflation is prolonged, then it’ll start impacting savings products too: MD & CEO, HDFC Life


Rising inflation has emerged as a key concern all across as it eats into disposable incomes of individuals. Vibha Padalkar, MD and CEO, HDFC Life, told Sandeep Singh that if the inflation is prolonged then it will start hurting demand for savings products too. Stating that the premiums should stabilise now, she also called for the regulator to permit life insurance companies to sell health indemnity as that will allow them to offer innovative solutions to customers. Edited excerpts:

How is inflation hurting the industry and what is the impact of interest rates?

Inflation remains a big concern as it has a bigger impact since it eats into the savings and reduces the disposable income. As disposable incomes reduce, customers react by going for slightly smaller cover or by not covering everyone in the family, etc. If you see the industry numbers, the impact is not much as of now. While there has been some impact on term, it is not so much on savings. However, if inflation is prolonged then it will start impacting savings products too.

As for interest rates’ rise, it is reasonably positive for us. Our transmission is faster and we can pass higher annuity rates. However, the volatility in equity markets is a downside. I think that of the other options to save, insurance continues to do well. The saving quantum itself is, however, reducing.

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The industry has witnessed a rise in premium. Do you see it stabilising now?

The premiums have risen mainly for term policies and the rise has been because of pandemic. Even as there is a lot of talk around rise in premiums, I would like to state that the increase in premium over the last 10 years is less than inflation. Reinsurers have suffered huge losses because of pandemic and if they raise the charge, it is difficult not to raise it. I think, it should stabilise now.

How have Covid death claims been for you?

We have settled claims amounting to over Rs 6,000 crore in FY22 but it has now eased off. We settled close to about 4 lakh claims with gross claims of around Rs 6,000 crore and net claims of Rs 4,300 crore. As a sector I would say that even as it was significantly higher, we paid so many claims without looking too much into the clause I believe that money is important if it is timely. For almost all our non-early claims (if the policy has completed 3 years) we paid within 24 hours or max 48 hours.

While this was for saving schemes, it took around 3 months for term policies as we need to check pre-existing etc and physical checks are required to be done by local field investigator.

Are life insurers getting permission to sell health indemnity?

We have been demanding the regulator to allow us to sell health indemnity but it hasn’t been permitted yet. Our point is that worldwide health sits closer with life than with motor. However, for some reason, general insurers in India are selling health whereas life insurers are not allowed to sell it. That is not logical. We used to be allowed to sell health, but it has been taken away.

My limited point is that life insurers have the largest touch points with their branches and network, but you are not alllowing us to sell. I think the focus should be on penetration of insurance and expansion.

As of now, nothing has moved. We even asked the regulator to allow us to distribute, if you don’t allow us to manufacture. Today, banks can distribute insurance but life insurers can’t distribute health. It doesn’t make sense.

We submitted it almost 18 months ago and the regulator has said that they will look at it. I stay hopeful.

When you say innovations are possible, if you are allowed, what could they be?

Innovation can’t happen if one key piece is missing. For example: When someone is young, he needs more life insurance. Suppose a person is paying Rs 60,000 as premium, I would say that until the age of 55 (nearer to retirement) we would give him maximum of life cover. After that, since he would have built savings too, we will reduce the life cover and increase the health cover. However, for the individual, Rs 60,000 premium will stay constant.

As of now we are not allowed to club various products and sell to the customer, unless we tie up with one insurer. But even that is not seamless.

What are the growth areas for the life insurance?

Growth will come with product innovation. Retirement products are another big growth area. As a nation, pension funds as a per cent of GDP is less than 5 per cent while it is more than 100 per cent in the developed world. While it is increasing, it is not at the desired pace.
People need to understand that the risk of an individual running out of money is very real because of increasing longevity.

How will the merger of HDFC Bank and HDFC limited benefit you?

It can only get significantly better. The way I see it is that today HDFC Bank is my largest distributor, but it is not my parent, so once that happens, there will be full alignment. HDFC Bank will become a financial conglomerate and will not just be a bank. It will have everything to do with any financial service products and will be the parent company of all. They will be able to tell the customer that they know them— if they have a home loan but not insurance etc so the advisory will be better.

If customers give their consent that they would like to be serviced as a single customer, they will be treated as a single customer across all HDFC Group products.





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Eight years on | The Indian Express


THE Narendra Modi government completing eight years is a moment to pause and look back — and ahead. When it came to power in 2014, a large swathe of Indian voters saw in the slogan of “achche din”, and in the BJP’s energetic bid to wrest power at the Centre under the leadership of a man who had made himself a name, and controversy, as chief minister, a promise for a break from the status quo. In the first five years, from rethinking the language of welfare to recasting nationalism and reworking foreign policy, the Modi government made an impact that led to its re-election in 2019 with a decisive majority. Looking back, the eight years of Modi’s rule so far have been dominated by the last three. And in these, the government’s record has been two-toned — it has shown resolve, boldness, and a capacity for navigating complexity in some areas but it has been stiff and unmoving in others.

The signal that the second term would be more change-making than the first was sent by the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir in August 2019. Only months after that, came the enactment of a law that made religion a criterion for citizenship for those in the neighbourhood seeking refuge. The next year, the government inaugurated the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya. But if the Modi government took these large, contentious steps, it also faced steep challenges. While the over a year-long farmers’ agitation on Delhi’s doorstep could be traced back to the farm laws it enacted in September 2020, the public health emergency that began with the Covid outbreak earlier that year, and this year’s Ukraine war, are problems it has been forced to step up to. On balance, the Modi government has shown a mature head in crisis, coming back after a period of paralysis during Covid’s second devastating wave, to set in motion a strikingly successful vaccination programme. It resisted pressures to provide more direct support to a people lacking in safety nets, but ran a comprehensive free rations programme, ensuring efficient and mostly corruption-free delivery. Amid the continuing economic slump and joblessness, it has signalled a recommitment to its privatisation programme, with the sale of Air India and the LIC IPO. With China, after the face-off in Galwan, and 15 rounds of talks later, it shows firmness and resolve. With the US, it is strategically — and boldly — strengthening areas of convergence in the Indo-Pacific, even as, on Ukraine, it has negotiated a position keenly conscious of competing priorities. All this, under the leadership of a prime minister whose popularity is burnished more strongly than before.

And yet, the maturity and nuance that the Modi government shows in the areas outlined above seem to elude it when it comes to others — be it its heavy-footed handling of the agitation against the CAA-NRC, its attempt to forcibly join the dots between those protests and the communal violence later in northeast Delhi, its use of the IPC to tar dissent, its weaponisation of Central agencies to target political opponents. Its ringing silence amid the bid to reopen the faultline that now stretches from Ayodhya to Gyanvapi and its failures to restore the political process in Kashmir are part of the same problem. A government capable of thinking afresh seems trapped in stale resentments when it comes to the imperative that lies at the heart of democracy: Trust between communities and a respectful place for minorities. With the Opposition weaker than it was, and not many countervailing institutions, the Modi government will need to find it in itself to course correct. For, the challenges of inflation and recession, Ukraine war, China’s sabre-rattling, expectations of the young — these call for a governance that includes all, that does not let ghosts of history hijack spirits of the future, that heals old wounds without rubbing them in. Eight years on, that’s the hope.

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Bharti AXA Life premium income rises 14 pc


Bharti AXA Life Insurance has posted a 14 per cent growth in total collected premium at Rs 2,602 crore in FY22 from Rs 2,281 crore in FY21. Renewal premium grew by 11 per cent and stood at Rs 1,666 crore in FY22. It posted a 25 per cent growth in weighted new business premium (WNBP) to Rs 730 crore from Rs 582 crore last year, outperforming the overall and private industry growth which stood at 16 per cent and 22 per cent respectively. In Q4 FY22, the company witnessed a 14 per cent growth in WNBP compared to the 13 per cent overall and 9 per cent private industry growth observed in the same period.

Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, the company recorded a surge of 18 per cent in its assets under management at Rs 11,025 crore in FY22 against Rs 9,374 crore in the last fiscal, said Parag Raja, MD & CEO.





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US rate hike fears spook markets


The meltdown in the US markets on Wednesday on fears of aggressive interest rate hikes rattled domestic markets investors, with key indices plunging 2.61 per cent on Thursday. With the sell-off led by foreign investors sending the pivotals crashing, the benchmark Sensex plummeted 1,416.3 points to 52,792.23 and the NSE Nifty fell 430.9 points to 15,809.40.

The rupee, too, extended losses, falling another 10 paise to close at a record low of 77.72 against the US dollar on Thursday, weighed down by a negative trend in domestic equities and unabated foreign fund outflows.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) pulled out another Rs 4,899 crore, taking the total outflows to Rs 42,836 crore in May. Domestic institutions bought stocks worth Rs 3,225 crore but failed to prevent the market slide. The Sensex has fallen 4,183 points in May alone. LIC shares fell by 4.05 per cent to Rs 840.75 as against the IPO offer price of Rs 949. RIL plummeted 2.35 per cent, SBI 2.24 per cent and TCS crashed 5.17 per cent.

Markets plunged sharply lower, pressurised by weak global cues. The meltdown in the US markets, on the fear of aggressive rate hikes, rattled investors and triggered a weak start. “The situation worsened further due to heavy selling in the index majors across sectors wherein IT and metal majors were among the top losers,” Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking Ltd.

The broader indices too traded in sync with the benchmark and lost in the range of 2.5-3 per cent.

Thursday’s fall indicates that bears are in control as the Nifty has completely reversed the recent gains and again reached closer to the March low. In this highly volatile market, investors can focus on sectors like FMCG, pharma, capital goods and manufacturing whose valuations are moderate and reasonable on a long-term basis, said Vinod Nair, head of research, Geojit Financial Services.

On Wall Street, key indices extended losses on Thursday as investors fretted over the impact of surging inflation on US economic growth and corporate earnings. At 2:32 pm ET, the Dow Jones fell 0.5 per cent to 31,318 while the S&P 500 dropped 0.2 per cent to 3,914.





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Day 3: LIC IPO subscribed 1.38 times


The mega initial public offering (IPO) of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) was subscribed 1.38 times (138 per cent) on Friday with investors putting in bids for 22.36 crore shares as against the public offer of 16.20 crore shares.

LIC policyholders’ quota was oversubscribed 4.01 times (401 per cent) and the employee reserved portion attracted 306 per cent subscription. The retail investors portion was subscribed 123 per cent, according to data revealed by the stock exchanges.

Retail investors bid for 8.53 crore shares as against their quota of 6.91 crore shares. While 2.21 crore shares were allotted for policyholders, there were bids for 8.88 crore shares. Employees bid for 48.33 lakh shares as against their quota of 18.51 lakh shares.

Non-institutional investors have subscribed 76 per cent of their portion while qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) bought 56 per cent of the allotted quota of 3.95 crore shares. Majority of the bids in the QIB quota were put by banks, domestic institutions, insurance companies and mutual funds. QIBs normally put in their bids on the last day of the IPO. Foreign investors put in bids for 8.40 lakh shares.

The issue will close on May 9.

The corporation has priced the IPO in the range of Rs 902-949 per share. It has offered a discount of Rs 60 for policyholders and Rs 45 for retail investors and employees. The size of the IPO was cut from Rs 65,000 crore to Rs 21,000 crore as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and sustained selling by foreign investors sent the stock markets into a tailspin.
LIC mobilised Rs 5,627 crore from anchor investors on Monday. Domestic mutual funds invested Rs 4,002.27 crore, accounting for 71.12 per cent of the total anchor book portion of the IPO. SBI Mutual Fund invested Rs 1,006.89 crore, becoming the largest investor in the anchor book quota.





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Ahead of LIC IPO, Irdai allows insurers to invest more in BFSI


Paving the way for more investment in the financial sector and insurance companies, insurance regulator Irdai has hiked the exposure limit of insurance companies in such companies to 30 per cent.

The hike in the exposure limit comes ahead of the mega IPO of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). “The Authority in exercise of its powers conferred under the Irdai (Investment) Regulations, 2016, permits all insurers to have exposure to financial and insurance activities (as per section K of NIC classification) up to 30 per cent of investment assets. Accordingly, the limit of 25 per cent of investment assets mentioned in Irdai (Investment) Regulations, 2016 stands revised to a limit of 30 per cent of Investment Assets,” Irdai said in a circular. The Irdai move is expected to allow insurance companies to invest more funds in the LIC IPO, insurance officials said.

Weightage of financial and insurance companies in broader Indian market indices has consistently gone up over the last few years. “Life insurance industry had been seeking an increase in the current 25 per cent sectoral limit on exposure to the BFSI sector. The increase in this limit to 30 per cent will provide the much-needed leeway for the insurance companies to increase their exposure to the sector and bring it closer to the broader market levels,” said Sampath Reddy, chief investment officer, Bajaj Allianz Life.

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“Additionally, they would also be in position to hold a much wider basket of diverse stocks within the sector and participate in the promising Indian growth story through the same,” Reddy said. LIC on Wednesday priced its initial public offering (IPO) in the range of Rs 902-949 per share. LIC IPO will open on May 4 and will close on May 9.

Insurance companies led by LIC, New India Assurance and others are major players in the capital market. LIC is the largest investor in stock markets. LIC booked profit worth Rs 42,862 crore from the sale of investments, mainly from equities, in the first nine months of the fiscal year 2022.

In 2013, Irdai allowed insurance companies to hold up to 15 per cent stake in any company, up from 10 per cent.





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Panda: Irdai looking at review of norms to widen market, may allow micro insurers


The insurance regulator is planning to create a framework to enable new entities to enter the insurance market in India with special outreach to global investors for enhancing foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) is reviewing the Rs 100 crore capital, which is the minimum requirement for any new player to begin an insurance venture. “We are thinking of allowing micro insurance player with Rs 10 crore or Rs 15 crore capital which can work in focus areas like a district,” Irdai Chairman Debasish Panda said in his first interaction with media here on Thursday.

Irdai is planning to review a gamut of guidelines and bring down the number of guidelines from around 100 to 10 or 15 guidelines. “Regulations will be principle-based, rather than rule-based. The idea was that the industry has matured enough during its journey spanning more than two decades since its opening up and they know the rule of the game better now,” Panda said.

The Irdai Chairman made it clear that the regulator will be having light regulation and tech-based supervision. Panda, who took over as the Chairman of Irdai last month, after retiring as Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), said the regulations should spur positive development in the industry. In a bid to bring about a cordial relationship between the IRDA and the industry, Panda, who met insurers on April 6 and 7, has assured insurers that there will be regular in-person meetings between CEOs and top IRDA officials in every two months in different parts of the country. The regulator is keen to facilitate the entry of captive insurers, standalone micro-insurers, niche players and regional entities into the insurance space.

It has also proposed to dispense with renewal of registration for insurance intermediaries. It’s also exploring the possibility of launching Bima Mitra on the lines of Bank Mitra to enlarge the scope of distribution with an aim to bringing insurance to every doorstep, he said. He added norms will be reviewed so that insurers can offer allied and value-based services in health insurance like membership in gymnasium.

Irdai has also proposed moving insurance supervision towards outcome based and technology driven that is aligned with international standards. There is also a proposal to rationalise investment norms applicable to insurers, Panda said. Emphasising that there should be new products for millennials, Panda hinted at coming up with new channels of distribution in future. When it comes to overall insurance penetration which includes both life and non-life insurance in India, the insurance penetration was 2.71 per cent in 2001 and has steadily increased to 4.2 per cent in 2020.





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Green bonds, digital currency hold promise


The coming financial year will be rather interesting as it might witness the fructification of several budget proposals. The most obvious one that comes to mind is the disinvestment of LIC which was supposed to have concluded in March but now looks likely to be completed in the next financial year. But the question is when will this be done?

The course of the war is not known and if this uncertainty has held back the IPO now, there is no guarantee that the situation will be better in April or May. In fact, as 2021-22 draws to a close, markets appear to have reverted to normalcy. In retrospect, the government could perhaps have launched the IPO.

The other two major budget announcements pertain to the issuance of sovereign green bonds and a central bank digital currency. These two launches will be a joint effort between the government and the RBI. While geopolitical turbulence might make the current moment inopportune for experimentation, the government seems firm on both the proposals and they will most probably be rolled out.

The sovereign green bond is a novel idea. It will be a part of the government’s borrowing programme. The gross borrowing programme of the government is pegged at Rs 14.95 lakh crore. This money is raised by the government to finance the deficit which involves excess expenditure on both the capital and revenue accounts. But considering that money is fungible, it is hard to figure out where the borrowed money goes. In the case of sovereign green bonds, though, an exception has to be made. The SGB (sovereign green bond) raised will be part of the aggregate borrowing programme and has to be used for projects which are ESG (environment, social and governance) compliant. Hence, if the bond is being used to finance a power project or road, or in case it is used to finance revenue expenditure, it has to be ESG compliant. The groundwork for this should be done in advance.

The pricing of these bonds will be tricky. As these bonds are different from G-secs (government securities), they may have to provide a better return as all ESG compliant companies have to make special investments that will push up costs. Or will it be the case of these bonds being priced at lower rates to aid ESG implementation? Further, given the low interest rates prevailing today — real returns on deposits are negative — the SGBs can be issued as tax-free bonds, open to the public. This will evince a lot of interest given that these are government-issued bonds. The RBI and the government have been trying to get retail investors to participate in the government’s borrowing programme, and this move will expedite the process.

The central bank digital currency, also known as CBDC, is also an interesting concept. It seems to be an outcome of the proliferation of cryptocurrencies. This has pushed several central banks into developing their version of digital currencies. This reasoning could be misleading because cryptos are an investment option, unlike a CBDC which is a substitute for currency. For launching such a currency, the RBI has to address certain fundamental questions.

First, is a CBDC going to replace currency at some point in the future? Is this just another option for the public or will physical currency disappear? One must remember that there are several sections in India that are not conversant with technology.

Second, if it is going to coexist with currency, how different will it be for the public from the digital payments that are being made today? This is a pertinent question because there seems to be a large volume of cash in the system post demonetisation. Will people need to choose between a mobile wallet and a CBDC wallet?

Third, any issuance of CBDC on a voluntary basis also raises a question on the security of the owner’s information. Aadhaar is supposed to ensure that an individual’s information is confidential, yet there is scepticism. That’s why CBDC has to be clear on the issue of confidentiality as it is bound to be a matter of concern. If it is not confidential, even a CBDC, given as a gift to a couple on their marriage will be tracked by the income tax department.

Fourth, what will be the future of the banking system as CBDC catches on? If people have to be incentivised to move voluntarily to the CBDC, the cash exchanged must earn an interest or else all money will go to bank accounts where a minimal interest rate can be earned. Will we require savings bank accounts with commercial banks in case all cash goes to the RBI? Will we then require ATMs for cash withdrawal? Will bank tellers become redundant? Will we need logistics companies that handle cash? These finer issues need to be addressed by the RBI as the widespread use of CBDC will progressively lead to lesser need for banks.

Fifth is the issue of security as any financial system that runs on technology can be hacked. It has to be foolproof and power failure resistant. Such systems have to be created and tested before a CBDC is brought in. There is a real danger of cyber fraud increasing as the majority of the population is not tech-savvy. Similarly, there is always downtime for bank servers when banking transactions cannot be carried on. This cannot be allowed to be the case with CBDC as it has to be available on a 24 x 7 basis.

If they succeed at the central level, green bonds can be replicated by states. The arguments for CBDC are compelling on the grounds of keeping up with the central banks of other countries, and the possibilities of taking advantage of new technologies like blockchain. But before embarking on these measures, it might be useful to keep in mind the issues flagged above.

The writer is Chief Economist, Bank of Baroda and author of Hits & Misses: The Indian Banking Story. Views are personal





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Rupee under pressure as FPIs rush to the exit door, pull out Rs 2 lakh crore since October


The ongoing sell-off by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) has led to withdrawal of over Rs 2,00,000 crore from the domestic stock markets since October last year. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has added to the nervousness of FPIs, already bracing for interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve. The FPI pull-out has hit the rupee, with its exchange rate against the dollar falling below the 76 level to 76.16 despite heavy RBI intervention.

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On March 4, FPIs pulled out Rs 7,631 crore from the stock markets, taking the total outflows to Rs 18,614 crore in the last three sessions of March as Russia intensified the attack on Ukraine and oil prices soared. This outflow has come after withdrawals of

Rs 45,720 crore in February and Rs 41,346 crore in January. With this, FPIs have pulled out

Rs 2,06,646 crore (excluding FPI investments in IPOs) since October 1, 2021.

If the situation in Ukraine worsens and FPI sales continue, the rupee will cross the 77 level against the dollar in the coming days, analysts said. While banks have been purchasing dollars to facilitate FPI pull-out, the RBI has been selling dollar from its forex kitty to salvage the rupee, said a banking source.

During the week ended February 25, India’s foreign currency assets declined by $ 2.228 billion. “The Russia-Ukraine conflict is hurting Indian rupee, bonds and equities via three channels: oil prices, US dollar Index and global equity prices,” said a Kotak Securities report.

Analysts said there could be a further temporary shock if things worsen more in Europe or, for that matter, a new front opens up in Asia. While the rupee is likely to remain under pressure, the RBI with its forex kitty of $631 billion will be able to prevent a big slide in the currency.

However, domestic institutional investors (DIIs), led by LIC, mutual funds and insurance companies, have been stepping up their purchases, absorbing most of the FPI sales. “There is a tug-of-war going on between FPIs and DIIs,” said VK Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

Countering the FPI strategy, DIIs have invested Rs 12,599 crore in March 1-4, adding to their total investments of Rs 1,42,872 crore since October 2021. DIIs invested a record amount of Rs 42,084 crore in February, their highest monthly investment since they put Rs 55,595 crore in March 2020 when Covid pandemic hit the country.

Despite a correction of around 13 per cent from the peak in Nifty, FPIs continue to sell since market sentiments have been impacted globally by the uncertainty triggered by the war and the surge in crude prices. This is likely to impact the IPO market and LIC’s plan for listing this fiscal and push up the current account deficit (CAD).

The Sensex has already fallen 5 per cent, or 2,899 points, to 54,333.81 since February 24 when the Russian invasion of Ukraine started. Global markets are spooked with the events happening in Europe, which are causing volatility. “FPIs have been sellers for almost 6 months now. Commodities are hitting highs across the board – oil, coal, metals and agri-commodities,” said Vineet Bagri, managing partner, TrustPlutus Wealth.

The FPI pull-out is dampening the sentiment in equity and forex markets. “Their impact on markets is visible, with increase in volatility and declining equity prices. However, the fact that this selling by foreign investors has been absorbed by domestic investors bodes well for the outlook of Indian markets,” Bagri said.

According to a Morgan Stanley report, supply constrained oil price rises are bad for India. Indeed, the recent 25 per cent jump in oil prices will expand the current account deficit by 75 bps and inflation by 100 bps on an annualised basis, it said.

US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell recently said he will back a quarter point rate increase when the Fed meets March 15-16, putting to rest debate over starting a post-pandemic round of rate hikes with a larger than usual half-point increase.





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