What is Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI)? Who is a Foreign Portfolio Investor?

Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) is investment by non-residents in Indian securities including shares, government bonds, corporate bonds, convertible securities, infrastructure securities etc. The class of investors who make investment in these securities are known as Foreign Portfolio Investors.

FPI is induced by differences in equity price scenario, bond yield, growth prospects, interest rate, dividends or rate of return on capital in India’s financial assets.

           SEBI has recently stipulated the criteria for Foreign Portfolio Investment. According to this, any equity investment by non-residents which is less than or equal to 10% of capital in a company is portfolio investment. While above this the investment will be counted as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

           Investment by a foreign portfolio investor cannot exceed 10 per cent of the paid up capital of the Indian company. All FPI taken together cannot acquire more than 24 per cent of the paid up capital of an Indian Company. As per SEBI regulations, FPIs are not allowed to invest in unlisted shares and investment in unlisted entities will be treated as FDI.

Who are Foreign Portfolio Investors?

           Foreign Portfolio Investors includes investment groups of Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) (Qualified Foreign Investors) and subaccounts etc. NRIs doesn’t comes under FPI.

           After the new SEBI guidelines, the RBI stipulated that Foreign Portfolio Investors include Asset Management Companies, Banks, Pension Funds, Mutual Funds, and Investment Trusts as Nominee Companies, Incorporated / Institutional Portfolio Managers or their Power of Attorney holders, University Funds, Endowment Foundations, Charitable Trusts and Charitable Societies etc. Sovereign Wealth Funds are also regulated as FIIs.

Who is a Foreign Institutional Investor?

           FII is an institution like a mutual fund, insurance company, pension fund etc. According to SEBI, “an FII is an institution established or incorporated outside India which proposes to make investments in India in securities”. FII is an institution who is registered under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Foreign Institutional Investors) Regulations, 1995. FIIs comprised of a pension fund, a mutual fund, investment trust, insurance company or a reinsurance company.

Who is a Qualified Foreign Investor?

           QFI is an individual, group or association which is a resident in a foreign country. The QFI should compliant with the Financial Action Task Force standard and should be a signatory to the International Organisation of Securities Commission.

                   The FIIs are big and hence they have the capacity to make large-scale investment. On the other hand, small investors and individuals under QFI category can’t match FIIs in terms of business volume. So, often when we hear about foreign investment in the share market, it is the FIIs who steal the attention. 

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