News digest: Foreign funds on Sebi radar, free power, shell firms, and more

news digest
After NRI money, foreign funds on Sebi radar

A fortnight after the market regulator tightened rules around non-resident Indian (NRI) investments in the  domestic market, several foreign funds have come under the scrutiny of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). 

According to sources, the regulator has sought investment and end-beneficiary-related information of foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) from their custodians. Sebi wants to crack down on those NRI-managed funds that are also used to channel money belonging to persons of Indian origin (PIO). Read More

IndiGo’s announcement that Aditya Ghosh will step down as the president of the airline came as a surprise to many in the aviation business. Ghosh who joined the airline as a general counsel steered the airline to not only become the biggest domestic carrier, but also the most profitable in the country. While his exit has led to many speculations, Ghosh answered most of the questions candidly but declined to comment on whether Air India would fund buyers or if he would be bidding for the airline with support from private equity funds. Excerpts from an exclusive interview with Surajeet Das Gupta. Read More

Centre close to cracking shell firm puzzle; panel decides 18 parameters

The government’s task force has arrived at a formula to define a ‘shell company’, a move critical for enforcement agencies to crack down on dubious entities exploiting the regulatory framework.

According to sources, the task force has listed 18 key parameters, including beneficial ownership and the nature of business dealings, to determine if a company has been created to launder money or exploit regulatory arbitrage. Read More 

Fintech shifting the goalpost? Wallets are passe as firms enter MFs, retail

On November 9, 2016, India woke up to demonetisation and full-page jacket newspaper advertisements of Paytm, Freecharge and a few others thanking the Prime Minister for ushering in the era of digital money. The months that followed the note ban, digital wallet players went to town claiming an astronomical user base as well as transaction numbers. By January 2017, wallet companies claimed that they had more than 500 million users. Read More

Centre can double down on states not to offer free power: R K Singh

Union Power Minister R K Singh has said the Centre can now double down on states not to offer free power to segments of consumers.

He said the Centre would be able to do so because it had been able to reach electricity to all census villages in the country ahead of its target.“We propose to bring in an amendment to the Electricity Act in consultation with state governments to make this possible,” the minister told Business Standard. Read More