Retail participation to scale up GIFT IFSC

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A bigger hamper of financial service products and retail participation will help in making GIFT IFSC appealing for international players mentioned Tapan Ray, Managing Director of GIFT City. He also mentioned that introduction of more products and participation from retail investors will reinforce volume and liquidity at the country’s only International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in GIFT City.

Currently, only secondary products are available for trading, and retail investors are not granted to participate. Recently, markets regulator SEBI granted investment advisory services in IFSC and permitted emerging investment vehicle REIT’s (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and InvIT’s (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) to list on stock exchanges operating in IFSC. Ray mentioned that the company needs to reveal more products, participants, and provide a level playing field, which is on par with other worldwide IFSCs so that international player will get attracted. He also stated that retail can bring in huge numbers of volume and participants that would reduce the cost for banks, insurance, and other entities working here. Furthermore, Ray stated that GIFT City is targeting from the current level of 10,000 to reach 30,000 jobs in the next three years. IFSC, which serves customers outside the authority of the domestic economy, deals with flows of finance, financial products, and services across borders.

GIFT-IFSC, which became functional in April 2015, houses 14 banks, 19 insurance firms, and about 100 capital market bodies. Furthermore, there are two international exchanges operational from this zone and work 22 hours a day. Ray mentioned that the procedure for the products as well as a structure for the stock exchange is currently underway with regard to international bullion exchange. He also stated that the setting-up of the international bullion exchange would lead to better and transparent price discovery of gold, intensifying the country‘s position in the bullion market globally which helps in the creation of jobs. The discussion for working together with consummate foreign players as partners are going on for the stock exchange. Also, the government has freshly appraised bullion as a financial product in the IFSC, which helps in attracting more players.

In its provisional report, the committee told the IFSC should look at providing Indian diaspora and individuals from Asia and Africa with a complete range of financial services. It also said that the IFSC should serve domestic residents helping to liberalize the remittances scheme. The committee was organized last month to recommend ways to develop international retail involvement in the IFSC.

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