India markets regulator allows private equity firms to own mutual fund companies

India’s markets regulator on Wednesday decided to tweak rules governing its 39.46 trillion rupees ($480.52 billion) mutual fund industry, allowing private equity firms to back Asset Management Companies(AMCs).

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said a private equity firm or its manager should have at least five years of experience managing funds and investing in the financial sector, and should have managed committed and drawn-down capital of not less than 50 billion rupees on the date of application.

Currently India only allows financial services firms and corporates to back an AMC.

SEBI also prescribed more disclosures around environment, social and governance (ESG) issues.

India’s markets regulator will adopt “a principles-based, rather than prescriptive,” approach in its first set of rules for rating a company on environment, social and governance (ESG) issues, it said in a statement.

It also announced enhanced disclosures by ESG ratings providers for mutual funds investing on those metrics and for listed companies, while mandating that 65% of assets of ESG focused mutual fund schemes should be in companies which make comprehensive related disclosures.

Reuters had reported the developments on 20 January. (Reporting by Jayshree P Upadhyay; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee)

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