SEBI Allows FPIs To Invest In REITs, Corporate Bonds Under Default

Markets regulator Sebi today allowed foreign portfolio investors to invest in newly launched products — REITs, InvITs and AIFs — and also permitted them to acquire corporate bonds under default.

All the investments by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) in such bonds should be within the overall limit of Rs 244,323 crore for foreign investment in corporate bonds.

“It has been decided to permit FPIs to invest in units of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), InvIts (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) and Category-III Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs),” Sebi said in a circular.

Business trust structures of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvIts) are expected to help in attracting funds into the country’s real estate and infrastructure segments.

Besides, Sebi has allowed FPIs to invest in Category-III Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) –a class of pooled-in investment vehicles for real estate, private equity and hedge funds.

However, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said that FPI will not hold more than 25 per cent stake in such AIFs.

Under Sebi guidelines, AIFs can operate broadly in three categories. The Category-III AIFs are those trading with a view to making short-term returns and it includes hedge funds, among others.

“FPIs shall be permitted to acquire NCDs/bonds, which are under default, either fully or partly, in the repayment of principal on maturity or principal installment in the case of an amortising bond,” the regulator said.

Such bonds restructured based on negotiations with the issuing Indian company will have a minimum revised maturity of three years.

The FPIs will have to disclose to the debenture trustees, the terms of their offer to the existing debenture holders /beneficial owners of such bonds under default, from whom they propose to acquire.

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