Foreign investors bullish on Indian shares, pay premium

[MUMBAI] International demand for Indian equities is so strong that foreign-ownership limits have been breached at 17 of the biggest listed companies, and the premium paid for those shares is surging.

The bullishness has prompted Indian companies such as Bharti Airtel Ltd, the nation's largest mobile-phone carrier, and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, a Mumbai-based broadcaster, to raise investment caps.

HDFC Bank Ltd, India's biggest bank by market value, and state-run Coal India Ltd also plan to take advantage of foreign interest by selling stakes, part of a flood of share sales that CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets estimates will reach US$50 billion in the next 24 months.

"Companies that increase...

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