Boost for AIF biz at Gift city as top fund administrator gets license

The Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) business in India is set to get a big push with the country’s biggest fund administrator, OPS Fund Services, getting the license to operate in this space. With OPS setting up shop in Gift city, various AIFs are also firming up plans. These funds, be they private equity firms, venture funds, hedge funds or other funds, need some administration services provider who does all other work. Five funds have already applied and a few more are in the pipeline for getting a license to operate in Gift city.

OPS Fund Services, a subsidiary of OPS Global, Singapore, which is a strategic partner of Basiz Fund Services, received the license to set up shop in International Financial Service Centre at Gujarat International Fin-Tec City (GIFT). OPS Fund Services will offer fund administration, fund accounting, fund set-up, trusteeship services, anti-money laundering/ know-your-customer, and tax services for funds domiciled under the IFSC AIF guidelines. The company has thus become the first to set up fund administration services in GIFT city. Guidelines were announced by the Sebi two months ago.

Basiz Fund Services Private Limited (BASIZ), in which OPS is a strategic partner, is India's first MNC global fund administrator with $16 billion in Assets under Administration.  Having commenced operations in 2006, Basiz has provided services to funds across the globe, including Singapore, India, Bahrain and the United States. It has a history of handling over 15,000 financial statements and services over 4,000 funds every year supported by a 100-strong team.

GIFT is an important hub for its service offerings, given that in 2018, India’s inbound deals rose to about $38 billion compared to China’s $32 billion. At present, a large part of these investments comes in through pooled vehicles in Singapore and other domiciles and get serviced from there. Aditya V Sesh, Managing Director, Basiz said, “These funds will now be domiciled in GIFT city given high levels of services and skill sets at a reasonable cost, very attractive fiscal benefits & world class physical infrastructure, a formidable combination.”

India has emerged as a big player globally for fund administration after with emerging as a major player.

Dipesh Shah, Head, GIFT IFSC said, “Fund regime in IFSC would be a game changer for the country to attract global funds. In this context, hosting the first fund administrator at GIFT IFSC would be a key enabler for the fund industry.” Shah added that the Gift administration had taken up issues to be clarified by various authorities which could help the fund business grow multifold in Gift city.  

Basiz also provides services for financial reporting for funds to various regulatory regimes, management consulting, and funds audit services which becomes a big attraction for various funds as they outsource such services. The biggest benefits of Gift-based AIF is that all business which were so far going to overseas finance centres will now come to India.

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