Overseas investments by Indian companies have more than doubled in the previous fiscal year as they expanded their foreign businesses, according to data released for the first time by the Reserve Bank of India.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) by Indian corporates was $5.1 billion in the first two months of the current fiscal year that started in April. It jumped more than two folds in fiscal year 2010/11 to $43.9 billion from about $18 billion in the previous year, the data showed.

Indian overseas investment policies have been liberalised over the past few years to promote exports and strengthen economic linkages with other countries.

"In the post 2003 period, the policy has enabled corporate entities and registered partnerships to invest in bonafide businesses abroad, currently to the extent of 400 percent of their net worth, under the automatic route," the RBI said in a release on its website.

India has been facing a fall in foreign institutional investment on global risk aversion, with foreign funds selling nearly $213 million of local shares so far in June, after offloading $1.16 billion in May.

However, FDI flows into India bounced back in April on an investment surge in services, construction and auto sectors, reversing a steep drop recorded in the previous fiscal year.

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