At least 16 China-based institutions, including Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and People's Bank of China (PBoC), have got permanent registration as foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in India.

While AIIB is a multilateral development bank, which has got India as a member too, PBoC is China's central bank. Other registered FPIs in India include the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), a government-run investment fund established primarily to provide a reserve of funds for China's social security system.

Sources said the FPI registration is a one-time process and permanent in nature in India for a long time, and most of these China-based institutions have been registered for investment in Indian capital markets for several years.

Dismissing reports about Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) having renewed the FPI licence of PBoC as factually incorrect, sources said there is no question of renewal as all FPI registrations are permanent in nature and all they have to do is pay the prescribed fees every three year to their designated depository participant (DDP).

The regulator has no role in this payment process, they said.

According to sources, PBoC was originally registered as a foreign institutional investor (FII) on May 4, 2011, and its registration has continued with payment of fees every three years.

From 2014, when a new FPI regulatory regime replaced the erstwhile FII regime, registration and continuance activities of FPIs are being handled by DDPs. All registered FIIs at that time were deemed registered as FPIs after shift to this new FPI regime.

According to data available with National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL), a leading depository in India, there are 16 China-based entities registered as FPIs in India.

In addition to PBoC, AIIB and NSSF, these entities are eight FPIs linked to Best Investment Corporation, China AMC Global Selective Equities Fund, cIFM Asia Pacific Advantage Fund, Flourish Investment Corp, Manulife Teda India Opportunities Equity Fund and Wei Chieh Li.

The registered FPIs linked to Best Investment Corp include those managed by BlackRock Asset Management, Columbia Management Investment Advisers, Fisher Asset Management, Invesco Asset Management, Maple-Brown Abbott, TT International and Westwood Management Corp.

Besides, there are 111 Hong Kong-based entities registered as FPIs in India and 124 from Taiwan.

While Chinese entities have reportedly made significant investments in India, the assets under custody of these entities are still smaller in comparison to several other countries.

According to the latest NSDL data, the ten-largest countries in terms of asset under custody of FPIs are the US, Mauritius, Singapore, Luxembourg, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Japan, Norway and the Netherlands.

Together, these ten countries account for over 80 per cent of the overall asset under custody of FPIs of more than Rs 28 lakh crore, while all other countries including China and Hong Kong collectively have less than 20 per cent share. PTI BJ

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