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Defence stocks, given their strategic importance and robust growth prospects, attract a lot of interest from foreign institutional investors (FII) interest. FIIs play a crucial role in the global financial markets, particularly in emerging markets like India as their investments often indicate a strong confidence in the sectors they choose.

This article delves into the top 10 defence stocks in India with notable FII shareholding, providing an overview and analysis of each.

What are FIIs?

Foreign Institutional Investors are entities established or incorporated outside the country that propose to make investments in India.


These can include mutual funds, pension funds, insurance companies, and other investment funds. FIIs are crucial for the liquidity and efficiency of financial markets, often bringing in significant capital flows.

FIIs are essential in public markets for several reasons. They provide liquidity, enhance market efficiency, and contribute to the stability of the financial system. Their investments can lead to better corporate governance as companies strive to meet the expectations of these informed and influential investors.

Defence Stocks In India: Industry Overview

Defence stocks in India are pivotal for the country’s national security, technological advancement, and economic development. It encompasses a wide range of activities, from manufacturing advanced weaponry and equipment to providing strategic services and support.


This sector has seen significant transformations over the years, driven by modernisation initiatives, policy reforms and increasing private sector participation.

Historical Context

Historically, defence stocks in India have been dominated by state-owned enterprises, which were primarily responsible for the production and maintenance of defence equipment.

The establishment of defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) and ordnance factories was aimed at ensuring self-reliance in defence production and reducing dependence on imports.

Policy Reforms

In recent years, the Government of India has introduced several policy reforms to boost defence stocks. These reforms aim to enhance domestic manufacturing capabilities, promote private sector participation, and attract foreign investments. Key policy initiatives include:


  • Make in India: Launched in 2014, this initiative aims to transform India into a global manufacturing hub. The defence sector is a critical component of this initiative, with an emphasis on indigenization and self-reliance.
  • Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP): The DPP has been revised multiple times to streamline procurement processes, promote transparency, and encourage domestic industry participation. The introduction of the “Buy (Indian)” and “Buy and Make (Indian)” categories under the DPP prioritizes procurement from Indian manufacturers.
  • Strategic Partnership Model: This model aims to establish long-term partnerships between the Indian private sector and global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to facilitate technology transfer and joint production.
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): The government has liberalised the FDI policy in defence stocks, allowing up to 74% FDI through the automatic route and beyond 74% through the government route in cases where it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded.

Key Segments in the Defence Sector

Indian defence stocks can be broadly categorized into several key segments:

  • Aerospace: This segment includes the manufacturing of aircraft, helicopters, drones, and related systems. Companies like Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) are prominent players in this segment.
  • Land Systems: This includes the production of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, and other land-based defence equipment. Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) are major contributors.
  • Naval Systems: This segment encompasses the design and construction of ships, submarines, and other naval systems. Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. (MDL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. (GRSE) are leading entities in this area.
  • Missiles and Ammunition: The production of missiles, ammunition, and explosives is a critical segment, with Bharat Dynamics Ltd. (BDL) and Solar Industries India Ltd. being key players.
  • Electronics and Communication: This includes the development of advanced electronic systems, radar, communication equipment, and simulation systems. Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) and Data Patterns (India) Ltd. are significant contributors.

See Also: Meta Verified For Whatsapp Business In India Coming Soon, Says Mark Zuckerberg

Top 10 Defence Stocks by FII Shareholding

1. Bharat Electronics Ltd

Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) is a leading aerospace and defence electronics company in India. It manufactures advanced electronic products and systems for the Indian Armed Forces.

FIIs hold 17.56% of Bharat Electronics’ shares. The company’s strategic importance in the defence sector and its robust order book make it a preferred choice for foreign investors.

BEL’s consistent growth, technological advancements, and strong financial performance are key attractions for FIIs. The company’s expansion into new markets and products further enhances its investment appeal.

2. Data Patterns (India) Ltd

Data Patterns (India) Ltd is a leading defence and aerospace electronics solutions provider, specializing in the design, development, and manufacture of electronic systems.

FIIs hold 14.56% of Data Patterns’ shares. The company focuses on innovation and a strong order book, drawing large foreign investment.

Data Patterns’ robust financial performance, technological capabilities, and strategic importance in the defence electronics sector make it an attractive investment. FIIs appreciate its potential for growth and innovation.

3. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is a premier aerospace and defence company in India, engaged in the design, manufacture and maintenance of aircraft, helicopters and related systems.

FIIs hold 12.42% of HAL’s shares. The company’s strategic role in India’s defence sector and its diversified product portfolio keep it at the forefront of defence stocks in India.

HAL’s strong financials, consistent performance and strategic importance in the aerospace sector make it a reliable investment. FIIs value its stability and growth prospects.

4. MTAR Technologies Ltd

MTAR Technologies Ltd is a leading precision engineering solutions company, catering to various sectors including nuclear, space, defence and aerospace.

FIIs hold 10.57% of MTAR Technologies’ shares. The company has several niche capabilities and a strong client base.

MTAR’s robust financial performance, strategic importance in high-precision engineering, and growth potential in the defence sector make it an attractive investment. FIIs are drawn to its innovation and expansion plans.

5. Solar Industries India Ltd

Solar Industries India Ltd is a leading manufacturer of explosives and explosive accessories, catering to the mining, infrastructure and defence sectors.

FIIs hold 6.1% of Solar Industries’ shares. The company has strong strategic importance in the defence sector and robust financial performance.

Solar Industries’ consistent growth, technological advancements, and diversification into defence products make it an attractive investment. FIIs appreciate its stability and growth prospects.

6. Cochin Shipyard Ltd

Cochin Shipyard Ltd is a premier shipbuilding and maintenance company in India, engaged in building and repairing a wide range of vessels.

FIIs hold 5.23% of Cochin Shipyard’s shares given the company’s strategic role in India’s maritime sector and its robust order book.

Cochin Shipyard’s strong financials, consistent performance, and strategic importance in the shipbuilding sector make it a reliable investment. FIIs value its stability and growth potential.

7. Zen Technologies Ltd

Zen Technologies Ltd. is a leading provider of military training and simulation solutions, specialising in the design and development of advanced training systems.

FIIs hold 3.84% of Zen Technologies’ shares, betting on the company’s focus on innovation and its strong order book.

Zen Technologies’ robust financial performance, technological capabilities and strategic importance in military training and simulation make it an attractive investment. FIIs appreciate its potential for growth and innovation.

8. Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd

Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) is a premier shipbuilding company in India, engaged in the design and construction of warships and other vessels.

FIIs hold 3.26% of GRSE’s shares thanks to the company’s strategic role in India’s maritime defence sector.

GRSE’s strong financials, consistent performance, and strategic importance in the shipbuilding sector make it a reliable investment.

9. Astra Microwave Products Ltd.

Astra Microwave Products Ltd is a major provider of radio frequency and microwave products and solutions, catering to the defence and aerospace sectors.

FIIs hold 3.17% of Astra Microwave’s shares, betting on the company’s focus on innovation.

Astra Microwave’s robust financial performance, technological capabilities and strategic importance in the defence sector make it an attractive investment. FIIs appreciate its potential for growth and innovation.

10. Bharat Dynamics Ltd.

Bharat Dynamics (BDL) is a leading manufacturer of guided missiles and allied defence equipment in India.

FIIs hold 2.95% of BDL’s shares. BDL’s consistent growth, technological advancements, and strong financial performance make it an attractive investment.

Here’s a list of the top 15 defence stocks, ranked according to FII shareholding:

Defence Stock Percentage of

FII Shareholding

Bharat Electronics Ltd 17.56
Data Patterns (India) 14.56
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd 12.42
MTAR Technologies Ltd 10.57
Solar Industries India 6.1
Cochin Shipyard Ltd 5.23
Zen Technologies Ltd 3.84
Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers 3.26
Astra Microwave Products 3.17
Bharat Dynamics Ltd 2.95
ideaForge Technology 2.75
Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders 2.38
DCX Systems Ltd 2.3
Mishra Dhatu Nigam 1.07
Paras Defence and Space Technologies 0.13

 


 

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