Tips for NRIs to Invest in the Indian Stock Market
Non-Resident Indian (NRI) investors can invest in the Indian stock market within the guidelines issued by various regulators in India..
There are many options for NRI investors to diversify their portfolios by investing in Indian stocks. If you are NRI planning to invest in the Indian stock market, this blog is for you.
Who Is an NRI?
In common terms, an NRI is a person of Indian origin (PIO) or an Indian citizen living and employed in a foreign land. In terms of taxation, a person falls under the NRI status if they fulfil the following conditions:
- If they reside outside India for over 183 days in a given financial year.
- A person would be an NRI if they stayed in India for less than 60 days in the previous year and for less than 365 days during the four years before the previous year.
Common Modes of Investments for NRIs in the Indian Stock Market
To invest in Indian shares, NRIs need to own certain types of accounts in banks. These act as modes of investment for them. The list below covers the common ways an NRI investor needs to invest in the stock market.
Non-Resident External (NRE) Account
NRE Account is a domestic account that allows an NRI to park their foreign earnings in Indian denomination. This account converts money in any foreign currency you deposited to Indian Rupee. You can deposit the sum in any currency and withdraw it in Indian Rupees. To invest in shares, you can open an NRE account in any preferable format, like recurring deposits or savings accounts.
Non-Resident Ordinary Account (NRO)
An NRO account is a domestic account that helps to manage income in India. One can pay rent, pension funds or invest directly from NRO accounts. NRO accounts carry a limit of $1 million that you can transfer to any foreign bank account.
You can link your NRO account to a Demat and trading account to buy and sell stocks in India. However, if you have both NRE and NRO accounts, you can link only one account to your Demat account.
Portfolio Investment Schemes (PIS)
This account allows NRI investors to buy, sell and trade with convertible debentures and shares. In addition, this account holds the investment amount linked with a Demat and a trading account. Therefore, the amount is instantly debited or credited to a PIS account whenever a transaction takes place.
Things NRIs Need to Remember While Trading in the Indian Stock Market
To invest in the Indian stock market, investors need to keep these specific points in mind:
Limits of Investment
An NRI investor must first remember that there are no maximum limits to investing in mutual funds. However, they must be careful about purchasing stocks and maximum sectoral limits.
The limit for NRIs and PIOs stock investments is 10% of an Indian company’s paid-up capital. NRIs can also only participate in delivery-based trading. Hence, they cannot participate in intraday and commodity and currency trading but are allowed to trade in F&O.
Consider Professional Help
If you are a novice investor in the Indian stock market, consider seeking professional help. You need to set your financial goals before investing. Furthermore, if you are planning to invest in stock markets of more than one country, plan your investments so that they work to fulfil your financial goal.
Avoid Using a Resident Account
As per the new RBI guidelines, you cannot use your resident account once you acquire an NRI status. Therefore, you must consider changing your bank and Demat account details and updating your KYC to complete this process.
Furthermore, you need to change your regular savings account to an NRO account and your Demat account to NRO Demat. You must also inform your AMC regarding this status change if you invest in Mutual Funds.
Tax Implications on NRI Traders in the Indian Stock Market
Like resident investors, tax on capital gains from capital markets also applies to NRI traders. However, there are certain exemptions and rules in this regard:
- For instance, as stated earlier, investors with NRE accounts earn from foreign currencies. Therefore, income one earns from savings or fixed deposits in NRE accounts is tax-exempt. Also, capital gains from one’s FCNR accounts are tax-free, as these accounts store incomes one earns from foreign nations.
- However, income from a trader’s NRO account is taxable like resident taxpayers of India. Gains from these accounts are also subject to TDS at 30% with no threshold limit.
- Another thing to note is that income taxed for NRIs in their country of residence cannot be taxable in India, provided that the country where you reside has a double taxation avoidance agreement with India.
- Furthermore, you must pay taxes on income from investing in equity shares or equity-oriented mutual funds. Here, earnings from these listed shares get divided into long and short-term gains. The tax implication of capital gains is the same for NRIs as for resident Indians.
- Holding your investments in listed equity shares for less than 12 months is considered short-term capital gains (STCG). These are taxable at 15% and are subject to TDS at a similar rate.
- On the other hand, an investor’s incomes for more than 12 months fall under long-term capital gains (LTCG). Furthermore, long-term capital gains above ₹1 lakh are taxable at 10%.
An NRI investor must consider the above-discussed things before investing in Indian equities. If you want to invest in Indian stock markets, consider researching the options for Depository Participants regarding services and charges before opening an account. It will help you make an informed decision.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Are PIS accounts important for NRIs?
A PIS (Portfolio Investment Scheme) account is mandatory for every NRI investor as it holds the amount for investment in the stock market. PIS account is also linked with Demat and Trading account and thus enables seamless online trading.
- Why should an NRI Investor invest in the Indian stock market?
Being an emerging economy, India has a high growth potential, due to this Indian stock market is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. As most countries face stagnant growth, the Indian stock market stands out..
- Can NRI investors participate in intraday trading in India?
No, NRI traders cannot engage in intraday trading in India. They can trade only on a delivery basis in stock markets here.
- Is it mandatory for NRI traders to hold an NRO account to trade Indian stocks?
As per recent government norms, you do not need to own an NRO account to invest in the Indian stock market. You can participate here with your PIS account itself.