Foreign Portfolio Investment
Under the Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) regime, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has harmonized foreign institutional investors (FIIs), sub-accounts and qualified foreign investors (QFIs) regimes into a single investor class – foreign portfolio investors (FPI) and provide a single window clearance through designated depository participants (DDPs).

Procedure to register FPI:
  • An application is to be made to the Designated Depository Participant for registration as an FPI in the form A along with specified fee.
  • SEBI has authorized NSDL to generate the registration number and certificate which shall be transmitted to its DDP, who will in turn issue electronic registration certificate to the FPI applicant.

Eligibility criteria for FPI:

The applicant shall have to fulfill the following conditions to be eligible register as FPI:

  1. The applicant should not be a person resident in India as per the Income-tax Act, 1961.
  2. The applicant should not be a Non Resident Indian.
  3. The applicant should be a resident of a country whose securities market regulator is a signatory to International Organization of Securities Commission’s Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding or a signatory to bilateral Memorandum of Understanding with the Board.
  4. The applicant should not be a resident of a country identified in the public statement of FATF as either:
    a. Having a strategic Anti-Money Laundering or Combating the Financing of terrorism deficiencies to which counter measures apply or
    b. Has not made sufficient progress in addressing the deficiencies or has not committed to an action plan with FATF to address such deficiencies.
  5. The applicant should be legally permitted to invest in securities outside the country of its incorporation / place of business / establishment.
  6. The applicant should be authorized by its MOA / AOA / Agreement to invest in securities on its behalf or on behalf of its clients.
  7. The applicant should have sufficient experience, good track record, should be professionally competent, financially sound and should generally have a good reputation of fairness and integrity.
  8. The grant of certificate to the applicant shall be in the interest of the development of the securities market.
  9. If the applicant is an intermediary, he should be a fit and proper person.
  10. If the applicant is a bank, he should be a resident of a country whose central bank is a member of Bank for International Settlements.

Since NRI’s are not allowed to register as an FPI, a company which is majority owned by one or more NRI / PIOs shall not be allowed to make investments as an FPI. However, if such company is appropriately regulated it may be given registration as Category II FPI for the purpose of acting as investment manager for other FPIs. Alternately, a fund having NRIs as its investors is also not prohibited from obtaining registration as an FPI.

Categories of FPI:

FPI may be registered in one of the following categories:

  • "Category I" shall include Government and Government related investors such as central banks, Governmental agencies, sovereign wealth funds and international or multilateral organizations or agencies.
  • "Category II" shall include:
    • Regulated broad based funds such as mutual funds, investment trusts,     insurance/reinsurance companies
    • Regulated persons such as banks, asset management companies, investment managers/ advisors, portfolio managers;
    • Broad based funds that are not appropriately regulated but whose investment manager is appropriately regulated:

    Provided that the investment manager of such broad based fund is itself registered as Category II FPI. Provided that the investment manager undertakes that it shall be responsible and liable for all acts of commission and omission of all its underlying broad based funds and other deeds and things done by such broad based funds under these regulations.
      •  University funds and pension funds; and
      •  University related endowments already registered with the Board as Foreign institutional investors (FII) or sub-accounts.
  • "Category III" shall include all others not eligible under Category I and II such as endowments, charitable societies, charitable trusts, foundations, corporate bodies, trusts, individuals and family offices.

Banking accounts:
  • FPI can open a non interest bearing Special Non-Resident Rupee (“SNRR”) account and a foreign currency account with Authorized Dealer Bank. They can transfer sums, at the prevailing market rate, from foreign currency account to SNRR account for making genuine investments in securities. The Authorized Dealer Bank may transfer repatriable proceeds (after payment of applicable taxes) from SNRR account to the foreign currency account.