Money & Banking

RBI allows non-residents to invest without limit in specified G-Secs

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 30, 2020 Published on March 30, 2020

Limit for FPI investment in corporate bonds hiked to 15%

The Reserve Bank of India has allowed non-residents to invest in specified Government of India dated securities without any quantitative limit with effect from April 1, 2020. To enable this, RBI has decided to introduce a separate channel called ‘Fully Accessible Route’ (FAR).

The central bank also upped the limit for Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) investment in corporate bonds to 15 per cent of outstanding stock for FY 2020-21 from 9 per cent now.

The moves to attract foreign investment in the domestic debt market comes at a time when foreign investors are in exit mode due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the rupee is under pressure.

These moves are also in keeping with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Union Budget announcement about certain specified categories of Government securities being opened fully for non-resident investors and increasing the limit for FPI in corporate bonds.

The central bank said the FAR route will operate along with the two existing routes -- the Medium Term Framework (MTF) and the Voluntary Retention Route (VRR).

According to RBI, existing investments by eligible investors in specified securities should be reckoned under the FAR.

FPIs, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) and other entities permitted to invest in Government Securities under the Debt Regulations can invest under FAR route. Eligible investors, other than FPIs, NRIs, OCIs, etc, can invest through International Central Securities Depositories.

The central bank specified that all new issuances of Government securities of 5-year, 10-year and 30-year tenors from the financial year 2020-21 will be eligible for investment under the FAR as ‘specified securities’. It may add new tenors or change the tenors of new securities to be designated as ‘specified securities’ from time to time.

Marzban Irani, CIO-Fixed Income, LIC Mutual Fund, said this announcement is a feel good factor and will help attract non-resident investment in the domestic debt market in the medium term.

The RBI has set the revised FPI investment limit in corporate bonds for the first and second half of FY21 at Rs 4,29,244 crore and Rs 5,41,488 crore, respectively, against the current limit of Rs 3.17 lakh crore. It added that revised limits for FPI investment in Central Government securities (G-secs) and State Development Loans (SDLs) for FY 2020-21 will be advised separately.

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Published on March 30, 2020
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