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India-only funds see biggest foreign outflows in over five years

India-only funds saw a net USD 786 million in outflows last month, the highest since the global financial crisis, reflecting investors` preference for diversified funds rather than funds dedicated to one country.

Aberdeen Global Indian Equity Fund, the world’s biggest India-only fund run by Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, accounted for around 40 per cent of the outflows, or a net USD 328.8 million, according to the data this week.

The waning interest in these funds come even as overall foreign interest in India remains high, especially over the election of Narendra Modi as the prime minister last month. Data has consistently shown fund investors prefer diversified emerging market funds that minimize single-country risk.

Foreign investors invested a net of USD 8.8 billion in Indian shares so far this year, adding to their USD 20.1 billion in purchases last year.

“In the last six months sentiment has turned positive for India because of the elections and expectations of a better government,” said Niranjan Risbood, director of Fund Research at Morningstar India said.

“But overall, India has faced a lot of macro problems and investors are still reluctant to put their money into India-specific funds, so most of the money coming into India is through diversified funds.”

The net outflows in May compares with USD 123.51 million withdrawn from India-only funds in April and is the highest since USD 814.04 million were redeemed in October 2008.

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