IRDAI Regulatory Reform Series: Listing of Indian Insurance Companies on Stock Exchanges

Background

On March 20, 2024, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (“IRDAI”) notified the IRDAI (Registration, Capital Structure, Transfer of Shares and Amalgamation of Insurers) Regulations, 2024 (“Registration and Capital Regulations”), which consolidated and rationalised the regulatory framework applicable on an Indian insurer in aspects, including listing on a stock exchange pursuant to an initial public offer (“IPO”) that may consist of a fresh issue of equity shares or an offer for sale. Our detailed analysis on the other aspects of Registration and Capital Regulations can be found here.Continue Reading IRDAI Regulatory Reform Series: Listing of Indian Insurance Companies on Stock Exchanges

Crackling News: India allows foreign higher educational institutions to set up in-country campus

In November, India opened its doors to foreign universities and institutes by permitting them to set up campuses in the country.

The light-touch ‘The UGC (Setting Up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations, 2023’ (“2023 Regulations”), are in line with the commitments set out in the National Education Policy, 2020 (“NEP”), and the government’s vision of internationalisation of education in India.Continue Reading Crackling News: India allows Foreign Higher Educational Institutions to set up in-country campus

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

Evolving Insurance Landscape in IFSC

The Gujarat International Financial Tec-City (“GIFT City”) 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 entities are permitted to establish and operate IFSC Insurance Offices (“IIO”) from GIFT City, upon obtaining the requisite approvals. The IIOs have the advantage or the ability to transact in freely convertible foreign currencies in offshore markets, while being situated within the territorial borders of India. From 2015 to early 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (“IRDAI”) issued guidelines for IIOs (“IRDAI IIO Guidelines”). Thereafter, pursuant to the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2019, the International Financial Services Centres Authority (“IFSCA”) was empowered 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 IIOs.Continue Reading Evolving Insurance Landscape in IFSC

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

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

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?