International Investing

Was thinking to investing outside India… to diversify, to take advantage to better gdp growth/ cheap valuation, inefficiency…

Anyone here investing overseas? Which brokerage firm? What are the charges? What is the initial security required?

Called Icici… they seem to have stopped this facility for new accounts.

Kotak Website ( says 6.5 lakhs deposit which is too much unless someone is planning to invest croresabroad.

Need guidance… What are the other options? What to do?

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It depends on which countries you want to invest in, 3rd world countries present the best opportunities with long term sustainable growth potential but no brokerage supports trading there.

If you are a retail investor (like me) then there is no point in looking outside India. Diversification and Concentration is a separate topic and you need to take a stand irrespective of which country you invest in? There is nothing stopping you from diversifying your investments in India Equity. There are 5000+ companies available across all sectors.

Why go outside when there are so many opportunities in BSE and NSE? Valuation is subjective and in my opinion it is not expensive to warrant such a decision.

Thanks Pankaj & CommonStocks for the reply.

Off-course I am a small retail investor and trying to invest in countries smaller than India & growing faster than India. But seems like no brokerage allows me to do that :frowning:

Why go outside?? Imagine if you find Nestle, Uniliver, Bata, Dominos, Jockey in India at 10 PE. Wont you buy them??

There are countries where these stocks are still cheap. For example- Uniliver Nepal is at 10 PE.

Bata srilanka is also cheaper than Bata India.

So question remains how to invest in them???

Investing in the other countries is a high risk investment. You need to have a thorough knowledge about the various factors affecting the stock market. We have to work so hard to grasp the equity investment in India where we feel to know most of the factors but still do not know many things. I would caution you about the risk in investing in other countries and that too smaller than India.

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you cant compare apples to mangoes. the PE ratio depends on the countries overall growth, opportunity size, political/economic conditions etc. however there might be some potential if you catch a mnc starting a business in that country and you catch it young.

Thanks Manish & Bala for reminding the risks.

Will remember IF i get the chance to invest!!!

Seems like Kotak has also stopped allowing international investing for new accounts.

Is there anyone who is providing that now?

:)( Link:

Unilever Nepal looks very amusing if you can somehow play it. With international investing , one of the biggest worries is the price stability. With nepal, its not even the issue as their currency is pegged to INR at 1.6 since 1993. Their have been some talks of doing away with the peg. In reer terms,theircurrency is overvalued.Withoutpeg it will correct to about 1.8-2 level considering the tradedeficitthey run with India.Historically,they had devalued their currency once in the 60s. So tail risk spoils your returns by 20%. But they aren’t going to do it in a hurry. They don’t have exporters to back up the currency devaluation. All they will get is imported inflation.

PS: Pakistan Unilever is delisting. Acacia partners (4%) were not happy by their offer. Perils of international investing!

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What is the point in discussing about Unilever Nepal ,when legally you can’t invest there .

If you want to invest abroad, the easiest way to do so is to pick Global Equity Mutual Funds in India. Last year, I invested in BSL International Equity Plan and ING Global Real Estate Plan. I recently (last week) exited both, as the charges were high, and at least part of the returns were due to Rupee Depreciation. But all told, they certainly returned more than Diversified Indian Funds. I am still holding on to a Greater China Fund.

But, in general, I agree with Manishbhai and the others. Unless you have a lot of money to invest, you are better off seeking diversification amongst stocks and asset classes in India, rather than seeking diversification around the world.

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**Samirbhai, you were fortunate to have invested in the global funds when the rupee has depreciated a lot. In the reverse case, you may hardly get any returns. I had studied the global funds earlier but found Indian equity more lucrative with high conviction level. Coming to Greater China Fund, I have read somewhere about many Chinese companies inflating their balance sheet to get higher subsidies and higher finances. I somehow feel the Dragon risky. **

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I agree. That is the reason I exited. The Greater China Fund, I will have to hold till lock-in. But in fact, it invests in Hongkong, China and Taiwan, not just China.

( Link: ) says 6.5 lakhs croresabroad.

Hi Jatin, Did you find answers to your queries. I would like to have an option of investing overseas but there doesnt seem to be too many cheap options in India.

There are options like opening with specific country’s brokers.

Read Amit Arora’s blog posts & comments for details.

However, its requires some efforts & costs also which are high for small investors. So, I am not doing it as of now.


Last year I traded my heart out using plus500 terminal. you can search on google and open an account. You have following options:

1). create demo account and practise realtime

2). create live account and fund by credit card. the withdrawals will also be to credit card. they advertise that they are listed on london stock exchange.

3). you can trade most of the listed stocks, indices, currency, commodities. you will get very good margin around 10x-12x

4). can trade bitcoins as well. however specific like bata nepal might not be there. but yes you can buy facebook, apple like well known stocks in case you believe in their story.

Investing in International Equity funds also attracts Capital gains Tax as the treatment is like that of a debt fund and that in itself is a huge negative.

Short Term would be added to individual income and taxed at individual income tax slab levels!!! 33.99% at highest levels!!!

Long Term would also be 11.33% without indexation and 22.66% with indexation!!!

This is a big turn off!!!

I Opened account in Sri Lanka and Bought Neslte Lanka ( PE 27 with 98% Div Payout, 3.5% Div Yield, growing 10%) and Chevron Lubricants ( 50% market share with 70% ROE, 6% Div Yield and available at 11PE)

Bank Account in ICICI bank, Colombo branch

Trading account with Bartleet Religare Securities.

Totally it took me 4-5 weeks for all formalities.


Hi Karthik,

Please share me the details or the procedure on my mail id



Hi, what about ETFs? Two ETFs that stand out are

Motilal Oswal MOST Nasdaq 100

? CS Hang Seng

Hi Karthik

Could you please share the costs associated in this whole process. Also how has been your experience with the bank and broker over the past one year.