Foreign investment dollars are declining across the emerging markets. However, India is still attracting investors, which could help support the long-term outlook for related country-specific exchange traded funds.
There were 1,508 greenfield inward investment projects announced or launched in emerging countries over the first quarter, with an estimated $108 billion in capital expenditures, compared to 2,030 projects and $134 billion over the same period last year, reports Courtney Fingar for the Financial Times.
Meanwhile, India is maintaining its FDI momentum, attracting 177 new projects, the same as in the first quarter of 2014, and capital expenditure of $21 billion, or almost three times the $7.7 billion record for the same period last year.
Greenfield investments are a type of foreign direct investment where a parent company starts a new offshoot in a foreign country by developing new operational facilities.
The popularity of India as an emerging market investment locale is also reflected in the ETF universe. Year-to-date, the WisdomTree India Earnings Fund (NYSEArca: EPI) attracted $459.2 million in new net inflows, iShares India 50 ETF (NasdaqGM: INDY) added $208.0 million in net assets and PowerShares India Portfolio (NYSEArca: PIN) saw $75.8 million in inflows, according to ETF.com. In contrast, the broader iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM) experienced almost $2.8 billion in net outflows this year.
SunEdison is the largest contributor to greenfield projects in India, spending an estimated $4.2 billion on three projects. The company’s largest project includes a new joint venture solar photovoltaic manufacturing facility.
Conglomerate NMC Group, which provides professional medical services, also has a interest in India’s growing economy.
Investments were largely in fossil fuel and alternative energy sectors. India is the fourth-largest producer and consumer of electricity in the world. The country has been rapidly expanding its infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing population – India is the second largest country by population in the world.
For instance, last week, the government raised its solar power generation capacity to 100 gigawatts from current 20 gigawatts by 2022, according to ThinkProgress. The country is expected to add more solar capacity this year than Germany and will become one of the top five solar markets globally.
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Max Chen contributed to this article.