Since January, foreign investors have poured $6.4 b into Indian stocks, third highest after Taiwan and S Korea. India's stock benchmark Sensex, which has gained 11.2% so far in 2016, is lagging behind peers from Brazil, Russia, Thailand and Indonesia amid worries stock valuations are rich. Since January , foreign investors have poured $6.4 billion into Indian stocks, the third highest among EMs that reveal portfolio flows.
Though the inflow is higher than that in 2015 of $3.8 billion, it is lower than $14 billion that Taiwan's stocks received and $8.8 billion attracted by South Korean equities so far this year.
Indian stocks outperformed in terms of flows and returns in the past when other EMs went out of favour due to economic problems and slump in commodity prices.
On Friday , the Nifty closed at 8866.70, nearly 1.5% away from its all-time closing high.
The outlook for EMs had turned bleak in January and February when a slowdown in China and weak oil prices heightened worries about a deep global recession. However, since March, the equity benchmarks have rebounded nearly 27%, thanks to the renewed inflows into EMs and a host of domestic factors like better monsoon, passage of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and above-normal monsoon.
In this rally since March, it is commodity-driven economies, including Brazil and Russia, which have gained the most this year rising 38% and 16%, respectively, thanks to stability in commodity rates. India has also underperformed the MSCI Emerging Markets index which is up 19% year-to-date.
The Nifty is trading at price-to-earnings of 18.4 times one-year forward earnings. In comparison, the MSCI Emerging Markets index is at 13.9x.
In 2015, when the MSCI Emerging Markets index fell 14.6%, India MSCI India declined 6%.
India's volatility index is very low suggesting that markets are vulnerable to event risks. VIX closed at 13.2 on Friday after touching a 17-month low earlier last week.