More than 50 Alternate Investment Funds (AIFs) are waiting to enter GIFT City this financial year, said Injeti Srinivas, chairman of International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) at GIFT City.
This is in addition to AIFs who have been given permission to operate from the campus in Gandhinagar.
“One way to attract capital is to bring in foreign banks. Currently eight of them have come to GIFT. These will bring capital from overseas. The second way is through insurance and reinsurance business. The third is through AIFs. Till now 40 AIFs have already come. These are pooling vehicles bringing in capital from overseas,” Srinivas said during a recent interaction at GIFT City.
An AIF is a privately pooled investment vehicle that collects funds from both foreign and Indian investors and invests as per respective investment policy.
“Today AIFs are a very big mode of pooling international funds. Many more are coming. This financial year alone, at least 50 new AIFs will come to GIFT City. If Mauritius can host 2000 such funds, why can’t they come here,” he added. Officials said that these AIFs will be managing funds which would have otherwise gone to locations like Mauritius or Singapore. “These AIFs design investment strategies with higher returns and secure funds from global investors. These funds used to be set up in centres like Mauritius and Singapore. But now it is happening in GIFT City. These funds will bring money from global investors and it will be invested in India,” said Dipesh Shah, Executive Director (Development), IFSCA.
AIFs who have already parked themselves in GIFT City include venture funds, private equity and hedge funds. After a slow start, a slew of reforms have been ushered in, which includes tax holidays for fund management entities and exemption for non-residents from filing return of income in India.
According to IFSCA chairman, GIFT City could also become a “preferred destination” for neighbouring countries looking to raise capital.