A quick check on Google Trends, which analyses top search queries globally and also at the individual country level, reveals that the search term “FAANG company” has seen a breakout in India from April — the first full month of the nationwide lockdown — till date. A breakout, by Google standards, means that the search term grew by more than 5000 per cent during this period.
Simply put, it means more and more Indians want to know what FAANG stands for. It is an acronym for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (now known as Alphabet), which are currently the most popular and among the best performing technology companies globally.
Maybe that also explains why Indian equity investors, who are known to always keep a close watch on most blue chip stocks that form a part of the Sensex and Nifty, are increasingly tracking US stocks as well.
“I made my first international investment in stocks around three years back as I did not want to be totally dependent on the Indian markets and so was looking to diversify my overall exposure to equities,” said Nitin Mathur, an equity analyst turned entrepreneur.
Mathur invests only in technology companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Facebook and Google as he found such companies missing in the Indian software technology space, which has many IT services companies but not many that specialise in products.
“Product companies (in the software segment) are missing in India and hence I strongly believe that overseas investments will only increase from here as Indians are now active users of brands like Apple, Netflix, Amazon and Facebook. Also, these stocks are seeing a huge surge and have outperformed benchmarks in the recent past,” said Mathur, who launched robo-advisory platform Tavaga in 2017.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulations allow a resident Indian to invest up to $250,000 overseas each year under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS).
Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook are currently the five biggest companies in terms of market capitalisation, with Netflix also featuring among the 25 biggest listed entities globally.
Other companies, including Alibaba, Visa, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Mastercard, Nvidia and PayPal, are also among the largest US-listed companies, with Indians well aware of the brands and the products.
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