New Delhi: Showing optimism, the foreign investors invested a whopping Rs 5,200 crore (about USD 1.16 billion) in Indian markets so far this month in contrast to heavy outflows witnessed in February.

Till March 16, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) invested Rs 5,232.70 crore in equities and bonds, taking total net inflows in 2011 so far to Rs 7,326.70 crore, as per the data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

In February, FIIs pulled out a net Rs 3,269.80 crore from the domestic market. In dollar terms, net FII outflows stood at USD 721.33 million.

According to analysts, FII flows gushed after getting positive cues from the 2011-12 Budget.

Overseas investors have been gross buyers of equities worth Rs 2,354.10 crore so far this month and infused Rs 2,878.60 crore in the debt market, taking their net investment during the month to Rs 5,232.70 crore.

"The FII inflows in March have been strong. This may be because of the better-than-expected Budget," said SMC Capitals Head of Research Jagannathan Thunuguntla.

FIIs have been the gross sellers of equities worth Rs 7,044.40 crore in 2011 so far, but they were bullish on the debt market, with an investment of Rs 14,371.10 crore, taking the net investment to Rs 7,326.70 crore.

In dollar terms, net FII inflows stood at about USD 39 billion in 2010.