Morning Mumbai mist, hot coffee and the 1986 song ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe is playing in the background – life seems blissful! And it was mostly so for the Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) industry. As we begin the run-up to Budget 2018, we look back at the milestones crossed in 2017 and the goalposts set for 2018 – and we focus on the key hits, misses and asks of the AIF industry.

2017: Key Highlights 

  • Investment by Banks in Category II AIFs: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) amended the Reserve Bank of India (Financial Services provided by Banks) Directions, 2016 permitting banks to invest in Category II AIFs up to a maximum cap of 10% corpus of such AIF. With Category II AIFs constituting nearly 50% of the total number of AIFs registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), this amendment sets the roadmap for channeling domestic savings into productive alternate assets and, at the same time, provides banks with the ability to earn a risk-adjusted return, thereby boosting the overall Return on Equity for its stakeholders.

Continue Reading It’s the Final Countdown: Achievements by and Expectations of the AIF Industry

Taking cue from Yoda, the adjudication officer of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has ordained “Do or do not, there is no try”. This means there can be no halfway compliance with SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012 and circulars issued therein (the AIF Regulations).

The November-end order of the SEBI Adjudicating officer (AO) in the case of the SREI Multiple Investment Trust (the Fund) not only provides an insight into the regulator’s interpretation of the AIF Regulations but it is also the first case of imposition of a monetary penalty for breach of the AIF Regulations. This article critically analyses the AO’s order and summarises the learnings from the same.

Continue Reading The Empire Strikes Back: Strict Compliance with SEBI AIF Regulations

In March 2015, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) constituted a standing Alternative Investment Policy Advisory Committee (AIPAC) under the chairmanship of Shri. N. R. Narayana Murthy. AIPAC submitted its first report in January 2016 and its second report was released by SEBI on December 1, 2016 (Report 2) for public comments.

The Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) industry has been growing exponentially. The cumulative funds raised increasing from Rs 3,841 crores (approximately, USD 568 million) in September 2013 to Rs 29,016 crores (approximately, USD 4292 million) in September 2016[1]. In approximately four years since the introduction of SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012 (Regulations), the number of AIFs registered has reached 268[2]. The AIF industry is thus poised to make its next leap of growth. Guided by this, Report 2 makes several recommendations to unshackle the AIF industry and lead the way into Phase II of its evolution. Some of the key recommendations that will facilitate growth are highlighted below. Continue Reading AIPAC Report 2: Bag Of Goodies and Festive Cheer for the AIF Industry