More than 2,800 fresh foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) registered with capital markets regulator Sebi in the first 10 months of the current fiscal, indicating that India remains an attractive destination. In comparison, about 2,900 FPIs had received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in the entire last financial year (2015-16). The number of FPIs with Sebi's approval rose to 7,114 at the end of January from 4,311 at March-end, reflecting an addition of 2,803 such investors, according to the latest data from Sebi. FPIs consider India as a preferred and stable market, given its macroeconomic stability, long-term growth prospects and ongoing economic and social reforms, market experts said. Besides, they said, Sebi had last month notified new norms allowing FPIs to invest in unlisted corporate debt securities and securitised debt instruments. Prior to that, the regulator had notified regulation to offer direct entry to well-regulated foreign investors for investing in corporate bonds, they added. Further, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech had proposed that Category I and II FPIs should be exempted from taxation on indirect transfers. In a big revamp, Sebi had in 2014 released norms that clubbed different categories of foreign investors into a new class called FPIs. FPIs have been divided into three categories as per their risk profile and KYC (know your customer) requirements, while other registration procedures have been made simpler for them. They are granted permanent registration as against the earlier practice of approval granted for one or five years to overseas entities seeking to invest in Indian markets.
The registration remains permanent unless suspended or cancelled by Sebi or surrendered by FPI.