Millennium Post

Sebi lets Stanchart of UK give offshore investment advisory

Global giant Standard Chartered Bank has been allowed by regulator Sebi to offer advisory services on regulated offshore products like stocks, bonds and mutual funds in markets outside India.

“... SCB can advise on regulated offshore securities and investment products, which are in the nature of marketable securities issued by a body corporate or a corporation under their Investment Advisory license under Sebi’s Investment Advisers Regulations,” the regulator said on Friday. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has conveyed its views in response to an ‘informal guidance’ sought by Standard Chartered Bank. 

Stanchart had said it was seeking to provide investment advisory services on offshore investment products and therefore it was requesting for an interpretive letter on whether it can advise on offshore investment products under their Investment Advisory license.

The banking major said many of its clients have offshore accounts which have been funded through remittances done via the Liberalised Remittance Scheme or ODI (Offshore Derivative Instrument) routes. “They frequently need advice on investing some of these balances in offshore securities. The primary rationale for the same is to diversify portfolios. “As a client solution therefore, we in our capacity of being Investment Advisors, would like to offer advisory services on regulated offshore products like offshore stocks, bonds and mutual funds. 

“This service will be a purely advisory service, consistent with the IA Regulations. The client will execute trades as per the banking arrangement he has offshore. “In case he has an account with overseas Standard Chartered Bank, there will be a separate execution desk in the respective jurisdiction (outside India) that the client can directly instruct to execute orders,” the bank said.
Besides its presence as a major foreign bank, Stanchart is also very active in the Indian capital markets, including as an investment advisor. Its Indian Depository Receipts are also listed in the country.
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