03:28 GMT05 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out the value of Indian equities by at least 15 percent from their February levels. From over 41,000 at the end of February, the benchmark Indian equity index Sensex is now trading at 34,755. It is up from the lows of 26,981 on 23 March, two days before a nationwide lockdown was announced. 

    Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) have overlooked other Asian markets like South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan to pump investments into Indian equity markets.

    In the last seven days, foreign investors have invested $3 billion in Indian equities, according to data from depositories. This is almost a third of the entire outflow witnessed in March and April of this year, when India was under a national lockdown and economic activity had almost come to a standstill. 

    Foreign investors liquidated their investments worth $8.36 billon on Indian markets in March and April due to the COVID-19 uncertainties. 

    The month of March itself saw a massive flight of capital from Indian markets to the tune of $7.81 billion, according to data from depositories, owing to the lockdown and uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic.

    After two-and-a-half months in lockdown, India is entering the unlocking phase. Starting Monday, 8 June, shopping complexes, malls, and places of worship have been allowed to reopen. 

    Similar investor interest, meanwhile, has not been seen on other markets. South Korea received $345.3 million, while Taiwan received investments worth $853 million. Japan, however, saw an exodus of foreign investors as they liquidated shares worth $352 million. 

    Market observers, however, feel that global markets are upbeat. 

    Shrikant Chouhan, Executive Vice President, Equity Technical Research at Kotak Securities, said, "the global markets are unstoppable and the recovery is better than the years 2000 and 2008 after falling vertically from the highs".

    Over the last week, the benchmark 30 share index of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) gained almost 1,000 points, going from 33,616 to 34,619 points. 

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    pandemic, COVID-19, foreign investment, equity markets, India
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