Foreign Investors Flock to Indian IPOs: A Comprehensive Analysis

India shines as global investors flock to large-cap stocks


In recent times, India’s financial landscape has witnessed a curious phenomenon. Despite being net sellers in the secondary market, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have been pouring substantial funds into the primary market. This article explores the implications of this intriguing trend, offering insights into its potential consequences for various stakeholders, including retail investors and industries.

Analysis for a Layman:

Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) are institutional investors from overseas who invest in Indian financial markets. These markets consist of two key segments: the primary market and the secondary market. The primary market is where companies raise capital through methods like Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and follow-on public offers. The secondary market, on the other hand, involves the trading of existing shares among investors.

What’s noteworthy is that in November, FPIs invested a substantial ₹7,688 crore in the primary market, marking the highest figure since December 2021. At the same time, they were net sellers in the secondary market, offloading Indian shares worth ₹6,877 crore. In simpler terms, they have been actively participating in the purchase of newly issued shares by companies while selling their existing holdings in Indian stocks.

This trend is significant because it has resulted in a net outflow of ₹40,196 crore from the equity markets. However, despite this, the Nifty index, a key benchmark of Indian stocks, has risen by 1.8% in the past three months.

Original Analysis:

The primary market has seen a surge in activity, with 11 companies raising ₹12,767 crore in November. FPIs have played a substantial role, bidding for an average of 40% of the qualified institutional buyers’ portions in these IPOs.

One notable occurrence was the impressive response to Tata Technologies’ IPO, marking the first public issue from the Tata Group in two decades. It garnered a subscription rate of over 69 times, with investors committing a massive ₹1.57 lakh crore against an issue size of ₹3,043 crore.

This shift towards primary market participation can be attributed to various factors. Firstly, FPIs might be attracted to the potential growth opportunities offered by new and promising companies entering the market. Additionally, the oversubscription of IPOs indicates investor confidence in the long-term prospects of these firms.

Impact on Retail Investors:

Retail investors can glean a valuable lesson from this trend. While FPIs are actively participating in the primary market, retail investors should approach their investment decisions with caution. Participating in IPOs can be profitable, but it’s essential to evaluate the fundamentals of the companies going public rather than blindly following the crowd. Additionally, the net outflow of FPI funds from the secondary market might create buying opportunities for retail investors in established companies.

Impact on Industries:

The shift of FPI funds towards the primary market can have far-reaching effects on various industries. The surge in IPO activity benefits companies looking to raise capital for expansion, innovation, and growth. This is particularly relevant for startups and technology firms that often rely on IPOs to fund their development.

Conversely, the net outflow of funds from the secondary market could lead to price corrections and potentially impact sectors where FPIs are prominent investors. Sectors such as IT, banking, and energy may experience short-term volatility as FPIs adjust their portfolios.

Long Term Benefits & Negatives:

In the long term, increased FPI participation in the primary market can drive innovation and economic growth. Companies with access to funds for expansion can contribute to job creation and sectoral development. However, a sustained net outflow from the secondary market may lead to short-term instability and market corrections, potentially affecting investor sentiment.

Short Term Benefits & Negatives:

In the short term, FPI participation in IPOs can boost demand for new shares, leading to higher valuations for these companies. This can result in quick gains for early investors. On the flip side, the net outflow of funds from the secondary market may put downward pressure on stock prices, causing short-term fluctuations and uncertainty.

Companies that Will Gain:

Companies planning to go public and raise capital through IPOs will undoubtedly benefit from this trend. They can attract FPI investments, which may enhance their valuation and provide the necessary funds for expansion. Investment banks and underwriters involved in these IPOs may also see increased business.

Companies that Will Lose:

Companies in sectors where FPIs are divesting from the secondary market, such as IT and banking, may face short-term stock price pressure. They may need to adapt their strategies to manage this situation effectively.

Here is a comprehensive list of companies that could be affected by the news article, along with a discussion of how the news article could impact market sentiment towards these companies:

CompanyPotential Impact on Market SentimentFactors to Consider
Tata Technologies* Positive:** The news of Tata Technologies’ IPO being oversubscribed by 69 times is likely to have a positive impact on market sentiment towards the company. This is because it suggests that there is strong demand for the company’s shares and that investors are confident in its future prospects.* Tata Technologies’ strong track record of growth and profitability. * The company’s position as a leading provider of engineering and IT services. * The Tata Group’s strong reputation and brand equity.
Other IPO companies* Positive:** The news of FPIs investing ₹7,688 crore in the primary market in November is likely to have a positive impact on other IPO companies. This is because it suggests that there is strong appetite for new listings from FPIs and that they are willing to invest in Indian companies.* The overall health of the IPO market. * The valuation of new listings. * The performance of existing listed companies.
Secondary market companies* Neutral:** The news of FPIs remaining net sellers in the secondary market in November is likely to have a neutral impact on secondary market companies. This is because it suggests that FPIs are still cautious about the Indian market and are not yet ready to fully commit their funds.* The overall sentiment of FPIs towards the Indian market. * The economic outlook for India. * The performance of the Nifty index.

Overall Impact on Market Sentiment

The news of FPIs being net buyers in the primary market but net sellers in the secondary market is likely to have a mixed impact on market sentiment. The strong demand for IPOs is a positive sign, but the continued selling in the secondary market is a cause for concern. Overall, the market sentiment is likely to remain cautious in the near term.

Additional Insights:

The impressive response to Tata Technologies’ IPO underscores the appetite for quality offerings in the primary market. It also highlights the potential for established companies, even those within large conglomerates like the Tata Group, to attract significant investments through IPOs.


The surge in FPI participation in India’s primary market while they exit the secondary market presents an intriguing dynamic in the financial landscape. Retail investors should approach primary market investments with caution, conducting thorough research into companies going public. Industries can benefit from increased capital infusion, but short-term fluctuations may occur as FPIs reallocate their investments. This trend underscores the importance of diversification and careful investment planning.


Author: Rajesh Mascarenhas

Title of work: “FPIs Buy Big in Primary Market Even as Secondary Sales Continue”

Date of publication: Nov 28, 2023


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