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Indian Equities the Favourite for Emerging Markets Investors in 2020, Minister Says

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The main Indian equity index, Sensex, has recovered from Covid-induced lows of 26,981 on 23 March - two days before a nationwide lockdown was announced – to exceed the 48,000 mark now.

Claiming that "India is a reliable partner for the world", Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur has said that the country has attracted $23 billion investment, making it the most popular choice among the emerging markets.

The minister shared the information in a tweet on Friday with an info-graphic showing that Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) pumped $23 billion into the Indian equity markets, which is higher than the other emerging markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, and Taiwan.

​All the aforementioned Asian nations witnessed a net withdrawal of foreign investment - India being the only one to receive positive inflows from abroad. Foreign investment in Indonesia fell 3.2 percent, Malaysia was down 5.8 percent and Thailand was off 8.3 percent.

South Korea and Taiwan each witnessed a 17.6 percent dip in foreign inflows to their equity markets.

However, in the wake of the national lockdown on 25 March, imposed to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, India had suffered a massive flight of foreign capital. In the month of March last year, foreign investors liquidated investments worth $7.81 billion because of the uncertainty.

April was no better, as the exodus continued with foreign institutional investors withdrawing money from the Indian markets.

However, things started looking up when the government lifted lockdown curbs in June. The FIIs, who dumped Indian shares, started making a beeline for the bourses again.

According to depository data, the FIIs bought $3 billion of Indian shares in the first week of June last year. In comparison, in the same week South Korea received $345.3 million foreign investment and Taiwan attracted $853 million.

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