FIIs invest over $1.5 billion in Indian equities in 5 sessions

Till 11th April, FIIs were gross buyers of shares worth Rs23,202.20 crore, while they sold equities amounting to Rs16,095.80 crore, resulting in a net investment of Rs7,106.50 crore or $1.6 billion, as per SEBI data

Mumbai: Bullish foreign fund houses have invested over $1.5 billion (about Rs7,100 crore) in the Indian equity market in the first five trading sessions of this month, reports PTI.

Till 11th April, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were gross buyers of shares worth Rs23,202.20 crore, while they sold equities amounting to Rs16,095.80 crore, resulting in a net investment of Rs7,106.50 crore or $1.6 billion, as per the data available with the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

According to analysts, FIIs have been pumping funds into India because of its strong growth potential and feels that in the coming days too, the foreign fund houses are likely to infuse money in the Indian bourses.

"The FII continued to witness inflows in April after having a good supply of money in the last month. One reason could be the expectation of good corporate earnings," SMC Capitals equity head Jagannathan Thunuguntla said.

Besides, foreign fund houses were negative on the debt market and pulled out Rs1,227 crore or $275.94 million. This takes the overall net investments by FIIs into stocks and bonds to a total of Rs5,879.50 crore or about $1.32 billion.

In January 2011, overseas investors had pulled out Rs4,813.20 crore from the stock market. The outflow continued in February, too, with Rs4,585.50 crore being taken out from equities but the scenario changed in March, when they were net investors of equities worth Rs6,749.60 crore.

This has taken the gross purchases of equities in the country by FIIs so far this year to over Rs1.91 lakh crore. After taking into account the outgo of Rs1.86 lakh crore, overseas investors have made a net investment of Rs4,605.60 crore.


Households expect high inflation to persist, climb to over 13% by end 2011, says RBI survey

Quarterly survey discovers urban households believe that higher food prices will continue to keep inflation high

Mumbai: Urban households expect inflationary pressure to continue through 2011 and they feel there may not be any softening of food prices, according to a survey by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

While household inflation is expected to touch 13.1% by the end of 2011, up from the perceived 11.8% in December 2010, daily-wage workers and housewives expect higher inflation rates to continue, PTI reports.

As per the 'Inflation Expectations Survey of Households: December 2010 (Round 22)' conducted by the RBI, the rise will be mainly on account of higher food prices.

"Households expect inflation to rise further by... 130 basis points during... next year (13.1%) from the perceived current rate of 11.8%," it said. While housewives surveyed said they expect year-end 2011 inflation to be 13.2%, daily wage workers said it would be 13.5%. On the other hand, financial sector employees and self-employed persons projected the inflation to be at 12.4% and 13%, respectively, by the year-end.

"Households' expectations of general price rise were mainly influenced by movements in food prices," the survey report said.

Overall inflation, as per the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) has been above 8% since February 2010. Food inflation also remained in double-digits for most of 2011, barring a few isolated weeks. In the October-December 2010 period, the WPI hovered between 8.08% and 9.41%.

Besides, retail inflation for industrial workers, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at between 8.33% and 9.7% in the quarter.

"In the current survey round, household inflation expectations are higher than the official inflation rates. It can be seen that even though the official indicators are moving in the downward direction, expectations are showing an upward swing," the survey said.

The RBI found that 98.6% of the respondents believe that prices will increase. This shows that more urban households have come to the view that inflation is on the upswing, than during the previous survey when 96.5% respondents felt that way.

"In case of one-year ahead price expectations, the percentage of respondents expecting food price increase has gone up. A similar trend is observed for non-food products as well," the survey said. While 91.7% of the respondents said they expect food prices to rise during 2011, 83.5% had a similar opinion regarding price rise of non-food items.

"For household durables and housing, more respondents are expecting prices to increase as compared to the previous round... the same is expected to increase for the next one year." In all cases, except with respect to the cost of services, the percentage of households expecting prices to rise in 2011 has increased during the 22nd survey as against the previous one.

The survey was conducted in October-December 2010 and covered 4,000 urban households across 12 cities for the January-March 2011 quarter and the 2011 calendar year. The latest survey was the 22nd such exercise conducted by the RBI, to find out inflation expectations of Indian households. The RBI has conducted such surveys on a quarterly basis since 2005.


Govt seeks views of public on proposed anti-graft law

The suggestions on the Bill, which was introduced in Lok Sabha on the last day of the Budget session and would help India ratify the UN Convention on Corruption, will be accepted till 30th April

New Delhi: In the backdrop of uproar over corruption and black money issues, the government has sought suggestions from people on a proposed anti-graft law which will facilitate extradition and prosecution of foreign public officials involved in bribery, reports PTI.

In a public notification, the government sought views and suggestions of general public on the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Bill, 2011 which prohibits accepting or giving gratification by or to a foreign public official or official of public international organisation and makes such acts punishable with imprisonment of up to seven years.

The suggestions on the Bill, which was introduced in Lok Sabha on the last day of the Budget session and would help India ratify the UN Convention on Corruption, will be accepted till 30th April.

Bribery involving foreign public officials in international transactions is not covered under the existing Acts. "Therefore, a need has been felt to bring a legislation to give effect to the Convention," says the Bill.

India already has in place a framework for combating corruption under certain laws-Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002-which cover a number of areas that need international standards for criminalisation of bribery.

"Article 16 of the Convention requires that each state party shall adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to establish as a criminal offence, the giving or taking of undue advantage to or by a foreign public official, directly or indirectly," says the Bill.

It confers power upon the central government to enter into agreements with foreign countries for enforcing the provisions of the proposed legislation. It also makes provision declaring the offences as "extraditable offences".

Certain provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, would be amended to include provisions of the new legislation.

Under the Bill, "foreign public official" means any person holding a legislative, executive, administrative or judicial office of a foreign country.

The term "official of a public international organisation" means an international civil servant or any person authorised by such an organisation to act on behalf of that organisation.

During the Group of Twenty (G-20) summit in Seoul, India had signed its anti-corruption action plan, which requires it to ratify and implement the UN Convention.

In February, a Group of Ministers had decided to recommend a "stand-alone" legislation on corruption to amend the relevant Indian laws to enable India ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption.

Once a signatory country ratifies the Convention, its private citizens, including businessmen, who indulge in corruption, are liable to be punished.

Indian agencies can seek co-operation of the signatory countries in investigating cases where they have information about the accused or his kin holding bank accounts in foreign countries.

The Supreme Court has termed the issue of corruption and black money as a "serious" matter which has to be dealt in the best interests of the country.


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