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Anticipating dovish RBI policy in June, FPIs buy $520-million bonds in two sessions

FE Bureau
Foreign investors are also looking out for some value-buying before the election results

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have bought $520 million of Indian bonds in the past two trading sessions anticipating a dovish central bank policy coupled with a rate cut in the June monetary policy meet. Portfolio investors had pulled out close to $600 million in the first eight sessions this month.

Dealers believe the inflow from foreign funds in the debt market can be attributed to an expectation of further rate cuts by the RBI as trade deficit widens, added with growing oil prices. Investors are willing to invest in India as bond yields are going down and investors expect the rupee to stay above 70 levels, said Dwijendra Srivastava, chief investment officer, Sundaram Mutual Fund.

Foreign investors are also looking out for some value-buying before the election results and are also expecting the central bank to conduct further liquidity measures. Yields levels have turned making it a value buy for foreign investors while they are also expecting some more easing on the liquidity front, said Devang Shah, deputy head, fixed-income, Axis mutual fund.

The benchmark 10-year yield 7.17% yielding paper maturing in 2028 has fallen 3 basis points (bps) in the past four trading sessions, to close at 7.47% on Thursday. The rupee appreciated by 0.69% or nearly 48 paisa in the past three trading sessions to close at `70.03 on May 16.

The quota for FPI investment in gilts is `2.34 lakh crore as on 16 May, 2019, according to CCIL data; the utilisation was 64.38% for gilts. The NSDL data shows that as of 16 May, the limit for FPI investments in corporate bonds is `3.03 lakh crore. The utilised level is 68.96%. FPIs invest in various debt market instruments such as government bonds (G-secs), state development loans and corporate bonds, but with prescribed limits and restrictions by the central bank.