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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 November, 2003, 07:03 GMT
Demand for Indian shares soars
Bombay traders
Investment by foreign funds in India hit an all-time high in October as investors betted on strong growth in Asia's third largest economy.

India's Securities and Exchange Board said foreign holdings on India's stock exchanges rose by more than $1.5bn (900m).

The figure takes the gain for 2003 to date to $4.6bn, more than six times the figure for the whole of the year before.

The inflow comes as the world's second biggest country is being seen as in line for solid expansion.

Growth hopes

India could see economic growth of as much as 7% this year, the Reserve Bank of India said on Monday as it kept interest rates at an all-time low of 6%.

That hope has underpinned stock market growth, with the Sensex - the benchmark index on the Bombay stock exchange - up about 50% this year.

That rise understates the boom of the past six months, which has amounted to 73% from a low hit in late April.

Robust earnings from key companies such as drugmakers and car firms have underpinned valuations, as has a good monsoon season making life a little easier for the farming sector.

Other South Asian countries are also showing strong growth, with Sri Lanka's stock exchange rising more than 75% over the past 10 months.


SEE ALSO:
UK drugs giant in India tie-up
23 Oct 03  |  Business
Asia aims for 'common market'
08 Oct 03  |  Business
India allows gold futures trading
03 Oct 03  |  Business


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