Norms for PE, AIF investments should be eased: CII

Welcoming the Security & Exchange Board of India's proposal to amend institutional investment norms, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Saturday suggested that private equity (PE) funds should be allowed to invest up to 33.33 per cent in equity shares or equity-linked investments and debt instruments of listed companies.

In a release from New Delhi, CII director-general Chandrajit Banerjee said PE funds needed more flexibility to structure their portfolio between listed and unlisted companies without having to compulsorily establish multiple funds.

While also welcoming the proposed changes in norms for investment in Alternative Investment Funds (AIF), the industry body suggested that all categories of AIFs should be permitted to invest up to a specified percentage of the fund in listed securities, with the flexibility to make primary as well as secondary investments.

It also asked SEBI to relax the proposed floor for investment by high net worth individuals (HNIs) in AIFs, asserting that the lower limit of Rs1 crore would discourage them from participating in the scheme.

Last month, SEBI had proposed new rules for AIFs, which mainly involve investment in art works, antiques, coins and stamps as well as a host of other instruments, besides the usual avenues like stocks, commodities and derivatives.

''SEBI's proposed concept paper is a step toward a formal regulatory structure that would enable AIFs to operate in an enabling regulatory environment,'' said Banerjee.