Accounting & Finance

Do Lower Foreign Flows and Higher Domestic Flows Reduce Indian Equity Market Volatility?

Image Source: ShutterStock


Vaibhav Aggarwal, Assistant Professor, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India

Adesh Doifode, Pune Institute of Business Management, Pune, Maharashtra, India.

Mrityunjay Kumar Tiwary, Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.


This study examines the relationship that both domestic and foreign institutional net equity flows have with the India stock markets. The motivation behind is the study to examine whether increased net equity investments from domestic institutional investors has reduced the influence of foreign equity flows on the Indian stock market volatility. Our results indicate that only during periods in which domestic equity inflows surpass foreign flows by a significant margin, as seen during 2015–2018, is the Indian stock market volatility not significantly influenced by foreign equity investments.

However, during periods of re-emergence of strong foreign net inflows, the Indian market volatility is still being impacted significantly, as has been observed since 2019. Furthermore, we find that both large-scale net buying and net selling by domestic funds increased the stock market volatility as observed during 2015–2018 and COVID-impacted year 2020 respectively. The implications of this study are multi-fold.

First, the regulators should discuss with industry bodies before enforcing major structural changes like reconstituting of mutual fund investment mandate in 2017 which forced domestic funds to quickly change portfolio allocation amongst large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap stocks resulting in higher stock market volatility. Second, adequate investor educational and awareness programmes need to be conducted regularly for retail investors to minimize herd behaviour of investing during market rise and heavy redemptions at times of fall. Third, the economic policies should be stable and forward-looking to ensure foreign investors remain attracted to the Indian stock markets at all times.

Published in: Vision: The Journal of Business Perspective

To read the full article, please click here