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Ecommerce IndiaSEBI

Soon E-commerce Platforms In India Could Sell Mutual Funds

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The e-commerce boom in the country has boosted Sebi's moral to use the boom to its advantage by pushing its plan to use the e-commerce platforms for distribution of mutual fund scheme into action. The main aim behind the step is to increase the penetration of mutual funds across India.

According to Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) chief U K Sinha, a committee formed under the aegis of Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani is currently looking into how these e-commerce platforms can be used to sell mutual fund schemes in the country. The committee is expected to soon file its report on the same.

In addition to all this, the markets regulator is also working on bringing some changes into the current rules for rating agencies so as to bring in better disclosure in the ratings industry.

Speaking at the industry body Ficci's annual capital markets conference, Sinha said, Sebi is looking into the processes being followed by ratings agencies in the country when they rate companies.

Sebi has been involved in an ongoing dialogue with these ratings agencies since the questionable default of Amtek Auto, an auto ancillary company, that massively impacted investors in one of the foreign mutual funds.

"We had dialogues with ratings agencies and you can expect additional guidelines soon," said Sinha.

The market regulator is also contemplating looking into the regulations guiding debentures trustees, their disclosure structures especially how investors are informed.

Sebi is currently waiting for the Nilekani committee's report, following which it will issue rules that will allow e-commerce platforms to sell mutual funds.

"Hopefully in the next couple of months we will be coming out with a new set of regulations for distribution of mutual fund products," said Sebi's chief.

Indicating at the penetration of mutual fund investments in India, he termed it as "not a happy situation." According to him, the regulator's mission is to make buying and selling mutual funds as "easy and cost effective" as possible. The market regulator is hopeful that with the introduction of e-commerce platforms for mutual fund distribution, it will be able to bring about an entirely new paradigm in distribution of mutual funds.

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