Sebi’s anti-competition hike5 min read 18 Feb 2014, 05:51 PM IST
It looks like a situation where market access is being denied to smaller players for no reason
In what can only be termed as an anti-competition decision, the board of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on 13 February made it difficult for small mutual funds (MFs) to do business in India. Some of the best innovations in the MF industry have come from the smaller funds, but that seems to not matter to the regulator. The Sebi press release couches the decision as follows: “In the long run, the objective is to ensure that mutual funds achieve reasonable size and play an important role in the objective of financial inclusion while further enhancing transparency so that investors can take informed decisions." Eight points have been listed to meet these goals. Of the eight, five decisions are within Sebi’s powers, and the remaining three proposals are for the government and the banks. One of the five decisions aimed at increasing financial inclusion and transparency is raising the minimum net worth of an asset management company (AMC) from the current 10 crore to 50 crore. How a larger net worth of a fund house will lead to either financial inclusion or more transparency has not been made clear.