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Sebi eases disclosure norms for alternative investment funds

Source: PTI
July 18, 2014 19:16 IST
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Relaxing norms for alternative investment funds, market regulator Sebi on Friday revised certain guidelines with regard to'disciplinary history' of the fund.

Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) are basically funds established, or incorporated in India, for the purpose of pooling in capital from Indian and foreign investors for investing as per a pre-decided policy.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said that all AIF have to disclose the 'disciplinary history' of the fund, its sponsor, manager, directors, partners, promoters and associates for the last five years.

These funds are required to provide details of pending and past cases (where the person has been found guilty) of litigations, criminal or civil prosecution, disputes and non-payment of statutory dues, among others.

Besides, Sebi said that such disclosure would be applicable in those cases, where monetary penalty of more than Rs 5,00,000 is being levied.

"With respect to disputed tax liabilities, the same shall not apply to liabilities in personal capacity of an individual. Contingent liabilities shall be as disclosed in books of accounts of the entity," Sebi said in a circular.

Currently, there is no specific time-frame mentioned for disclosing 'disciplinary history' of the fund.

Besides, Sebi has extended the deadline for sending the AIF's placement memorandum (which consists of details of disciplinary actions of the funds) till August 31 from July 19.

Further, Sebi said any change in placement memorandum to all would be be intimated to investors and to Sebi once every six months on a consolidated basis, as against the current practice of seven days.

Under Sebi guidelines, AIFs can operate broadly in three categories.

The Sebi rules apply to all AIFs, including those operating as private equity funds, real estate funds and hedge funds, among others.

The Category-I AIFs are those funds that get incentives from the government, Sebi or other regulators and include Social Venture Funds, Infrastructure Funds, Venture Capital Funds and SME Funds.

The Category-III AIFs are those trading with a view to making short-term returns and it includes hedge funds, among others.

The Category-II AIFs can invest anywhere in any combination but are prohibited from raising debt, except for meeting their day-to-day operational requirements.

These AIFs include private equity funds, debt funds or fund of funds, as also all others falling outside the ambit of two other categories.

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