SEBI proposes AIF norms to bring unregulated funds under its ambit

SEBI has proposed a comprehensive framework in the form of Alternative Investment Funds Regulations, under which AIFs operating as private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge funds etc, must register with the market regulator

New Delhi: Widening its ambit by bringing in unregulated funds like hedge funds, capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has proposed a comprehensive framework in the form of Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) Regulations, reports PTI.

“With a view to extending the perimeter of regulation to unregulated funds and ensuring systemic stability, increasing market efficiency, encouraging formation of new capital and providing investor the board approved a proposal to frame SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012,” the regulator has said in a press statement.

As per the proposed regulation, Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), operating as private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge funds etc, must register with SEBI under the AIF Regulations.

SEBI (Venture Capital Funds) Regulations, 1996 shall be repealed, it said.

However, SEBI said, existing VCFs shall continue to be regulated by the VCF Regulations till the existing fund or scheme managed by the fund is wound up.

Existing VCFs, however, shall not raise any fresh funds after notification of these regulations except commitments already made by investors as on date of the notification, it said.

“The proposed regulation will provide necessary impetus to the local fund raising against existing practice of overseas fund raising,” said Mahendra Swarup president of Indian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association.

The new regulation has prescribed a threshold limit of Rs1 crore for investors of private equity and venture capital fund, he said, adding, it will help promote the industry.

Further, the AIF shall have a minimum corpus of Rs20 crore, the regulator proposed.

The fund or any scheme of the fund shall not have more than 1,000 investors, it said, adding, the manager or sponsor shall have a continuing interest in the AIF of not less than 2.5% of the initial corpus or Rs5 crore whichever is lower.

SEBI further said existing funds not registered under the VCF Regulations will not be allowed to float any new scheme without registration under AIF Regulations.

However, schemes floated by such funds before coming into force of AIF Regulations, shall be allowed to continue to be governed till maturity by the contractual terms, except that no rollover or extension or raising of any fresh funds shall be allowed, it said.

The proposed regulation seeks to cover all types of funds broadly under three categories.

Category I AIF would be those funds with positive spill-over effects on the economy, for which certain incentives or concessions might be considered by SEBI or Government of India or other regulators in India; and which shall include venture capital funds, SME funds, social venture funds and infrastructure funds, it said.

Category II AIF would not enjoy any incentives or concessions given by the government or any other regulator, it said, adding these would include private equity funds, debt funds, fund of funds, etc.

The third category of the AIFs including hedge funds that are considered to have negative externalities such as exacerbating systemic risk through leverage or complex trading strategies.

These funds can be open-ended or close-ended, may engage in leverage subject to limits as may be specified by the SEBI.

Earlier, SEBI had floated a concept paper along with the draft Alternative Investment Funds Regulations on the SEBI website on 1 August 2011.


London calling: Learning the British way of executing orders

The British suppliers were meticulous in terms of layout plans, mechanization, production methods and finish. The 16th part of a series describing the unknown triumphs and travails of doing international business in Asia in the seventies and eighties

Despite all the confusion and delays in shipments of cast iron products from India, we somehow managed to get goods in the market on a regular basis. We had stockpiled our own products and were ably supported by supplies from China and Rumania. Besides, from time to time we simply mopped up whatever was left in the market in small pockets.

But one thing that continued to bother us was the irregularity of supplies of heavy duty manhole covers from big and reputed manufacturers like Brickhouse Broads of UK, and if my memory serves me right, were the exclusive agency of Grey Mckenzie in Dubai.

There were a number of well reputed consultants, many of them of British origin and a great number of contractors, mostly Indian, were executing their works. However, if the specification had clearly stipulated brand names (models, designs and codes), they had no choice but to get those at site, without which completed work will not be cleared.

Identifying the product with a specification, like the British Standards was one thing that any responsible contractor would be glad to comply, but branded items were asked for and contractors had to get them from those very stock holders.  It was not an easy task to replace this by supplying an equally acceptable substitute even if it complied with the relevant British or ASTM standards.

Any layman would understand the difference between grey iron casting and ductile castings.  Many suppliers, who tried to penetrate this branded market failed to enter before they started because there was hardly anyone Indian supplier who could provide ductile castings. The British suppliers and their local agents, of course, knew that the competition from India was severe; on the top of these, there were other suppliers from UK who were also attempting to enter the lucrative market.

The situation was tense. Through mutual friends we met the main supplier, Brickhouse representatives, by simply introducing ourselves (they knew a lot about our activities) and visited their offices in London. They were extremely kind and courteous and gave us the honour of letting us visit their foundries, which were eye-openers, in terms of layout plans, mechanization, production methods and finish. And the methodical way shipments were made by them, we realized our unfortunate lacuna in execution.

Upon our invitation, their senior-level representative not only met us again in Dubai, but accompanied me to visit our plants in Agra. On both sides, we were investigating the various possibilities of collaboration.

But I cannot fathom why, in spite of sincere efforts on both sides, this did not pan out. We remained healthy competitors in the market, as the demand was so substantial, that neither of us had to eat into others’ territory.

In the meantime, we had a feeler from a member of the noble family whom I do not wish to name, wanted to set up a local foundry. Considering the enormous potential in the region; however, as capital investment was not forthcoming, we could not proceed further in the matter. 

(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts. From being the advisor to exporters, he took over the mantle of a trader, travelled far and wide, and switched over to setting up garment factories and then worked in the US. He can be contacted at [email protected].)

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5 years ago

How are these memoirs relevant to moneylife readers? The writer should instead write a book.

Economy & Nation Exclusive
BSE MD & CEO Madhu Kannan to join Tata Sons

Mr Kannan who joined BSE in 2009 has resigned and is likely to join the Tata group

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Tuesday suffered a setback as its managing director and chief executive Madhu Kannan decided to step down. According to media reports, Mr Kannan would join Tata Sons as group head for business development and report to Cyrus Mistry, deputy chairman of Tata Sons. However, this could not be confirmed. Mr Kannan's move may be personally satisfying and more challenging, comes the very next day after the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) announced norms for stock exchanges that would govern how much money they can make and how the top management can be compensated.

In a release, BSE, said Mr Kannan has expressed his intention to not to seek new term at the expiry if his current tenure that would end in May 2012, to puruse other opportunity.

Mr Kannan joined BSE in 2009. Prior to his appointment at BSE, Mr Kannan was a managing director in the corporate strategy group with Bank of America-Merrill Lynch based in New York. He joined Merrill Lynch in March 2008 as managing director (strategy and business development). In this role he focused on the development and execution of key strategic initiatives for Merrill Lynch in the emerging markets of Asia and Middle-East & North Africa (MENA) and the Global Sovereign Wealth Funds Group.
Prior to Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Mr Kannan was senior vice president at NYSE Euronext. During his stint at NYSE Euronext, he served in various senior roles across a range of businesses including vice president, corporate client group, head of international listings (Asia Pacific Region), and managing director, international strategy and business development of the exchange.


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