Ship Leasing in IFSC

India has a vast coastline and easy access to shipping routes, yet India contributes only 1% in global trade.[1] Many major shipowners and operators have chosen key international maritime centres such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Dubai as their base for operations.

To create a stimulating ecosystem that can help Indian entities compete with global marine hubs by accelerating and boosting their presence internationally, IFSCA has constituted a Committee on Development of Avenues for Ship Acquisition, Financing and Leasing Activities (“SAFAL Committee”) to obtain a complete overview and assessment of the existing legal and regulatory regime in IFSC in India for ship acquisition, financing and leasing.

Continue Reading Ship Leasing in IFSC – A New Regime

Fund Management Regulations 2022

I. Introduction

A robust asset management industry along with a well-developed regulatory ecosystem is pivotal to the growth of capital markets, which are in turn critical to a developing economy such as India. The Government of India is taking considerable efforts for ‘onshoring the offshore’ financial services activities to enable India to compete with some of the more established jurisdictions in the world such as Singapore, Mauritius and Hong Kong.

Continue Reading IFSCA (Fund Management) Regulations, 2022: Inching closer to make India a Global Hub for Asset Management

SEBI Clarifies Applicability of Portfolio Managers Regulations to an Indian Manager of an Offshore Fund

In an interpretative letter sought under the SEBI (Informal Guidance) Scheme, 2003 (“Informal Guidance”), the markets regulator has clarified that the investment manager of an alternative investment fund (“AIF”) can provide investment management services to an offshore fund only as a SEBI-licensed  portfolio manager under the SEBI (Portfolio Managers) Regulations, 2012 (“PM Regulations”). SEBI also reiterated that the investment managers of AIFs are considered to be regulated by SEBI. In this post, we will explore the queries, SEBI’s responses, and implications for the industry.

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GIFT City

Introduction

The onset of Global In-house Centres (“GICs”) in India was driven by global financial services companies seeking to drive costs down and access India’s large talent pool across various locations. These factors together made it a compelling case for GICs to invest in India to setup large centres which performed a variety of functions across technology, risk, AML, operations, research, credit analysis, etc., for a wide variety of businesses, from retail banking, wholesale banking to investment banking, located in various foreign countries. This model has been visibly successful in driving the upskilling of a large talent pool in India and enabling significant cost advantages to the financial services companies that have implemented this model.

Continue Reading GICs in IFSC, GIFT City: A Combination to Unlock Value

Role of IFSC in the Indian SPAC Dream

In part 2 of this series of blogs (Key Features IFSC Lisiting Regulations in Relation to Listing of SPACs), we touched upon the newly-introduced framework for the issuance and listing of special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) at the International Financial Services Centres (“IFSC”) under the International Financial Services Centres Authority (Issuance and Listing of Securities) Regulations, 2021 (“IFSC Listing Regulations”). In this part of the blog we are going to look at the IFSC Listing Regulations with a critical eye to detect the gaps that continue to exist despite the framework being put in place and identify areas that can be improved upon to leverage the unique status of entities in IFSC.

Continue Reading Role of IFSC in the Indian SPAC Dream: An Overview – Part 3

Fintech Hubs in IFSC

The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) had notified its Fintech Incentive Scheme on February 2, 2022 (Scheme), setting up a framework to provide six grants to eligible applicants. The six grants, thematically, are for ESG financing (Green FinTech Grant), meant to provide early-stage capital for scaling up (FinTech Start-up Grant, Proof-of-Concept Grant, Sandbox Grant, Listing Support Grant), and aimed at supporting third-party incubation (Accelerator Grant), with the common thread among all being an intent to facilitate market access.

Continue Reading Policy support for fintech hubs in IFSCs

GIFT City

Introduction

 In the 2022-23 Union Budget announcements on February 1, 2022 (“Budget”), the Finance Minister introduced a proposal to allow the entry of world-class foreign universities and institutions in Gujarat International Financial Tec-City IFSC (“GIFT IFSC”), to offer courses in subjects pertaining to financial management, fintech, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, to facilitate the availability of skilled human capital for financial services and technology[1]. The announcement is seen as a progressive step, giving further impetus to promoting GIFT IFSC as the preferred International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) globally.

Continue Reading GIFT City Opens Doors for Entry of Foreign Universities in India

IFSC Banking Units – offshore branches with onshore dispute resolution

The Gujarat International Financial Tec-City (“GIFT”) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, is India’s first operational greenfield smart city, housing a domestic tariff zone and an International Financial Services Centre (“IFSC”) in a Multi-service Special Economic Zone (“SEZ”). As part of developing India’s very own and first IFSC, both Indian and foreign banks are permitted to establish and operate IFSC Banking Units (“IBU”) from GIFT IFSC, upon obtaining the requisite licenses and permissions. The IBUs have the advantage or the ability to transact in freely convertible foreign currencies in the offshore markets, while being situated within the territorial borders of India. From 2015 to early 2020, the Reserve bank of India issued notifications and regulations related to the IFSC framework. Thereafter, on April 27, 2020, the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2020, was notified, pursuant to which the International Financial Services Centres Authority (“IFSCA”) was established on October 1, 2020, as the unified regulator with wide powers to develop and regulate financial products, financial services, and financial institutions in IFSCs, including IBUs.

Continue Reading IFSC Banking Units – offshore branches with onshore dispute resolution?

An Introduction of ESG Disclosures in Indian Regulatory Space

Introduction

In the previous part, we first discussed the relevance of ESG disclosures for stakeholders involved in business processes, and then reflected upon the existing regulatory space for such disclosures along with the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (“BRSR”) framework, recently introduced by Securities Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”). Taking forward the discussion, this part will analyse the BRSR framework and suggest ways in which it could be further improved.

Continue Reading An Introduction of ESG Disclosures in Indian Regulatory Space – Part 2

Aircraft Leasing in IFSC

In our previous post we had provided a synopsis of the legal framework relating to aircraft leasing in India and Indian IFSCs. In this piece, we will provide an overview of the tax incentives offered to the aircraft leasing activities undertaken from  IFSCs located in India to achieve the dream of developing the GIFT IFSC into a global aircraft leasing hub. We have provided  a few more thoughts to ponder upon as India fuels its engines to realise its objective of ‘letting the common citizen of the country fly’ (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik).

Continue Reading Part III (B): Aircraft Leasing in IFSC – Let’s kick the tires and light the fires!