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International mutual funds

Can Indian investors buy international mutual funds?

Investing in international mutual funds presents Indian investors with the opportunity to access stocks of companies listed outside of India. These funds allow individuals to diversify their portfolios and tap into international markets without the complexities of direct overseas investments. If you are considering venturing into international funds in India, this article is designed to provide you with insightful information.

Understanding international mutual funds

International mutual funds primarily focus on investing in stocks of companies listed on foreign stock exchanges. These funds, also known as equity funds, have gained traction as investors seek avenues beyond their domestic market. However, it must be noted that such investments have inherent risks associated owing to the complications of tracking international market trends influenced by distinct geopolitical and economic factors.

Mechanics of international mutual funds

International mutual funds operate using a master-feeder structure. In this three-tier framework, investors’ funds are channeled into the feeder fund, which subsequently invests in the master fund. The master fund then allocates these funds into the international market.

Investing in international funds in India is like investing in equity funds. Fund managers allocate money to stocks of companies listed on foreign exchanges. These managers can directly purchase foreign stocks, invest in existing international funds, or opt for pre-designed portfolios of foreign assets. Indian mutual fund companies manage and regulate these investments under the oversight of SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India).

Selecting the right international mutual fund

Choosing the most suitable international mutual fund in India involves several key steps –

Track record – Evaluate the fund’s historical performance.

Experienced fund managers – Consider the expertise of the fund management team.

Portfolio compatibility – Ensure the fund complements your existing investment portfolio.

Cost analysis – Carefully review all underlying costs and expenses.

Tax considerations – Confirm whether India has a tax treaty with the chosen country to avoid double taxation.

Distinctive features of international mutual funds

Simplified investment

Direct foreign market exposure can be achieved through these funds.


Investing in international funds allows for portfolio diversification, which aids in risk management.

Currency impact

Fluctuations in exchange rates affect Net Asset Value (NAV), potentially influencing gains.

Risk exposure

International funds entail higher risk due to the challenge of monitoring foreign market dynamics.

Country-specific focus

Investors seeking to leverage a particular country’s growth can adapt to changing economic conditions.

Factors to weigh in foreign fund investment

Several considerations are vital when investing in foreign funds –

Investment objective

Align your investment goals with the appropriate foreign mutual fund.

Political and economic uncertainty

Unforeseen political events in different countries may introduce unpredictable risks.

Currency risk

Currency fluctuations can impact returns, so assess exchange rates before redemption.

Country/region selection

Developed countries often offer stability, while developing nations come with increased risk.


Indian investors do have the opportunity to invest in international mutual funds. These funds are most suitable for individuals’ seeking exposure to diverse economies, who possess a higher risk tolerance level, and are committed to long-term investments. So, it is worth noting that international funds are better suited for experienced investors.

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