Overseas investors have infused a net Rs. 14,732 crore or USD 3.2 billion in Indian stock markets in March, taking their total inflow so far in 2010 to nearly Rs. 15,500 crore.

With this renewed shopping in local market, the total net inflow by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) has crossed the Rs. 15,000 crore (USD 3.4 billion) level so far this year, as per data available with the capital market regulator SEBI.

An analysis of FII flow in the Indian stock markets shows that till March 19, 2010, they are the gross buyer of shares worth Rs. 1,41,283 crore, while they offloaded equities valued worth Rs. 1,25,834.4 crore, resulting in a net investment of Rs. 15,448 crore.

In this foreign investment, a major chunk of funds came in through primary market route, which saw the divestment in big ticket NMDC. The USD 2 billion follow-on public offer of the State-run mining giant NMDC was subscribed 1.23 times.

“FIIs will continue to put in money in the Indian shares.

But the flow will somewhat be lessened till the end of March as it is the corporate year ending. This will also limit the gains in the market,” said an analyst at a broking house.

The stock market barometer Sensex (of the Bombay Stock Exchange) has gained 6.5 per cent so far in March. On Friday, the BSE’s 30-shares index Sensex closed at 17,578.23 points, higher by 0.34 per cent, or 58.97 points - its best close in eight weeks.

Buoyed by FII inflow during last year, the Sensex gained over 80 per cent and was one of the best performers among the leading global bourses. In 2009, foreign fund houses had made a net investment of about Rs. 88,000 crore.

The selling trend of FIIs was reversed in February, when they invested a net Rs. 1,216 crore in the domestic equities.

In January, FIIs withdrew a net Rs. 500.3 crore from the markets, turning net sellers for the first time since February 2008. Till mid-February this year, FIIs were net sellers.

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