RBI eases portfolio investment scheme for NRIs

The Reserve Bank of India eased the rules governing portfolio investments such as equity and debt by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to pull in foreign currency.

Under the Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) for NRIs, banks were given a unique code for each branch making it unwieldy for them to administer the scheme.

Now, RBI has allowed banks to do away with the unique code for branches making banks free to administer the PIS scheme for NRI.

As per the guidelines of the RBI:

  • The designated branch of the bank will grant a one-time permission to the NRI applicant for the purchase and sale of shares or convertible debentures of an Indian company.
  • Two distinct permission letters (for repatriation basis and non-repatriation basis) shall be issued as per the prescribed format.
  • The designated branch will open a separate sub-account of NRE/NRO account (opened and maintained by an NRI in terms of the Foreign Exchange Management (Deposit) Regulations, 2000) for the exclusive purpose of routing the transactions under PIS on behalf of an NRI.
  • If NRI is eligible to make investment in India his resident power of attorney holder can be permitted by AD bank to operate NRE (PIS)/NRO (PIS) account to facilitate investment under the scheme.
  • Shares or debentures purchased will be held and registered in the name of the NRI and the shares or debentures acquired by the NRI under the scheme will not be pledged for giving loan to a third party without prior permission of the RBI.
  • Banks must ensure that NRIs are not allowed to invest in any Indian company which is engaged or proposes to engage in the business of chit fund, nidhi company, agricultural or plantation activities.
  • NRIs investments can’t be made in real estate business excluding development of townships, construction of residential or commercial premises, roads or bridges, educational institutions, recreational facilities, city and regional level infrastructure, townships.

Month: Categories: Business, Economy & Banking

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RBI takes measures to ease liquidity

RBI took a few measures to ease liquidity including Rs 8,000 crore bond buyback, to ensure adequate credit flow to the productive sectors of the economy to counter the surge in interest rates following its steps to support falling rupee.

RBI has decided to take following measures to ease liquidity:
  • Conduct open market purchase of government bonds of Rs 8,000 crore to inject liquidity. More Open Market Operations (OMO) would be undertaken when required.
  • Retain the Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) which is the portion of total deposits banks are required to park in G-Secs at 24.5 % to help banks reduce Market-to-Market (MTM) losses resulting from abnormal market condition.
  • Relax SLR requirement by allowing banks to retain SLR holdings in Held To Maturity (HTM) bonds category at 24.5 % until further instructions. Banks have the option of valuing these securities for the purpose of such transfer.

As per RBI the hardening of long term yields has resulted in banks incurring large MTM losses in their investment portfolio  and these MTM losses are partially resulting from abnormal market conditions and could be expected to be largely recouped going forward.

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