Mauritius was the largest source of foreign investment in India, followed by the US and the UK, according to a census by the Reserve Bank. Singapore and Japan were the next two sources of foreign direct investment (FDI), said the Census on Foreign Liabilities and Assets of Indian Direct Investment Companies 2016-17, released by RBI. Of the 18,667 companies that participated in the census, 17,020 had FDI/overseas direct investment in their balance sheets in March 2017, it said. “96 per cent of the responding companies were unlisted in March 2017 and most of them had received only inward FDI; unlisted companies had higher share of FDI equity capital vis–vis listed companies,” it said. Further, over 80 per cent of the 15,169 companies that reported inward FDI were subsidiaries of foreign companies (single foreign investor holding over 50 per cent of the total equity). “Mauritius was the largest source of FDI in India (21.8 per cent share at market value) followed by the USA, the UK, Singapore and Japan whereas Singapore (19.7 per cent) was the major ODI destination, followed by the Netherlands, Mauritius, and the USA,” the census said.
The census yields comprehensive information on the market value of foreign liabilities and assets of Indian companies arising on account of FDI, ODI and other investments. “It is important to note that changes in outstanding asset/liabilities would be different from flows recorded in the balance of payments (BoP) during a year, as the former would also include valuation changes due to price and exchange rate movements,” the central bank said. The census data further said non-financial FDI companies had a much higher share in total foreign equity participation vis-a-vis financial FDI firms. “The ratio of market values of inward to outward direct investment, increased to 4.3 in March 2017 from 3.6 a year ago; equity participation accounted for 94 per cent and 79 per cent shares in inward and outward FDI, respectively,” it said.
The manufacturing sector accounted for nearly half of the total FDI at market prices; information and communication services and financial and insurance activities were the other major sectors that attracted FDI. Total sales, including exports, of foreign subsidiaries in India increased by 18.7 per cent during 2016-17 whereas their purchases, including imports, increased by 20.1 per cent.