GK & Current Affairs!

ALL CURRENT AFFAIRS India-CMLV meet | 01-Mar-2017 10:16

4th India – CLMV (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam) Business Conclave was recently held in Jaipur. During the conference, government and business community of CLMV countries were invited to actively partner in India’s initiative to strengthen manufacturing capacities.

About CLMV:

Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam collectively, is the third largest economy in ASEAN, followed by Indonesia and Thailand.  Due to close proximity, India is looking to boost trade and investment with the CLMV region as part of the ‘Act East policy' announced by the Prime Minister during the 12th India – ASEAN Summit in 2013.

What are Alternative Investment Funds? | 23-Oct-2016 14:01

What are Alternative Investment Funds?

There are a large variety of investment institutions making investment in several types of assets. New varieties like angel funds emerges with time. existing regulations may not cover them. Hence these institutions that are different from the traditional investment institutions are categorized as Alternative Investment Funds. The necessity for classifying these institutions is from the view point of regulation. Every financial entity should be well regulated for the overall safety of the financial system as well as growth of the economy.

The name Alternative is vital as it shows the entities specified as AIFs are not like the traditional institutions - mutual funds, pension funds, insurance companies etc. Anything alternate to traditional form of investments can be categorized as alternative investments.

What are Alternative Investment Funds?

Alternative Investment Funds are a class of investment entities that are not covered under the usual SEBI regulatory framework for investment institutions. AIFs refers to any privately pooled investment fund - a trust or a company or a body corporate or an LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) which are not presently covered by any Regulation of RBI, SEBI, IRDA and PFRDA.  They may be foreign or Indian.

A notable general feature of AIFs is that they are tailor made investment arrangements like Private Equities that aims to utilize investment opportunities. AIFs are thus private investment entities.

Thus, AIFs includes Private Equities, Venture Capital Fund, Hedge funds, Commodity funds, Debt Funds, infrastructure funds, etc. Most of these investment entities are owned by big corporate houses or wealthy individuals. Private Equities like Blackstone and KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) are examples for AIFs. Several multinational banks have also AIFs. Venture Capital Funds and Angel Investors are also categorized as AIFs.

Regulation of AIFs

SEBI in May 2012 had notified the guidelines for AIFs as funds established or incorporated in India for pooling in of capital from Indian and foreign investors for investing as per a pre-decided policy.

In 2014, SEBI decided that the promoters of listed companies can offload 10 per cent of equity to AIFs such as such as SME Funds, Infrastructure Funds, PE funds and Venture Capital Funds registered with the market regulator to attain minimum 25 per cent public holding.

Under SEBI guidelines, AIFs are classified into 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 the ones who can produce positive spillovers in the economy and for that they get incentives from the government, SEBI or other regulators. They include Social Venture Funds, Infrastructure Funds, Venture Capital Funds including Angel Investors, SME Funds etc.

The Category-II For these funds, no specific incentives and concessions are given by the government or any regulator. The institutions under this category are: Private Equity Funds, Debt Funds, Fund of Funds and such other funds that are not classified as category I or III. These funds shall be close ended and shall not engage in leverage.

The Category-III AIFs are institutions like Hedge Funds that trade with a view to make short term returns. They employ diverse or complex trading strategies and do leverage including investment in listed or unlisted derivatives.

Government in budget 2015 has allowed foreign investment in AIFs. Now, foreign investments would be allowed in AIFs that are established as registered trust, structured as incorporated company or limited liability partnership. The decision would enable foreign investment in AIFs established as trust or incorporated firms or LLPs or body corporate and registered with SEBI under the SEBI (AIFs) Regulations 2012.

The same would be enabled in the FDI policy and FEMA regulations including foreign investment by way of units of AIFs set up as trust in terms of SEBI regulations.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - 17 October | 16-Oct-2016 19:27

A boy sits outside his house in Cite L'Eternel, a poor neighborhood of Port au Prince, Haiti.

2016 Theme: Moving from humiliation and exclusion to participation: Ending poverty in all its forms

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” explicitly recognizes that poverty results not from the lack of just one thing but from many different interrelated factors that affect the lives of people living in poverty.

This means we must go beyond seeing poverty merely as the lack of income or what is necessary for material well-being — such as food, housing, land, and other assets – in order to fully understand poverty in its multiple dimensions.

The theme this year – selected in consultation with activists, civil society and non-governmental organizations – highlights how important it is to recognize and address the humiliation and exclusion endured by many people living in poverty.