As one of the largest and fastest growing economies, India has been a major consumer of International financial services (IFS). The 2007 report of the committee set up by the Ministry of Finance (popularly known as the Percy Mistry Committee Report) had estimated that even under conservative assumptions, purchases by Indian households and firms of IFS will be nearly $50 billion by 2015, and could exceed $120 billion by 2025. Thus, with the objective of bringing back to India the international financial service business generated from India, and gradually emerge as an international financial services hub at the regional and global level, Government of India operationalized India’s maiden International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at GIFT Multi Services SEZ in April 2015.
The International Financial Services Centres Authority Act was passed in December 2019 and the IFSCA commenced its operation as a unified regulator in October 2020. The IFSCA has been vested with the combined powers of four domestic regulators namely RBI, SEBI, IRDAI and PFRDA and has a mandate to develop and regulate financial institutions, financial services, and financial products within the IFSCs in India.
The strategic objectives of IFSCA are as follows:
- To position the IFSC as a leading internationally recognized centre with trusted business and tax regulation, and judicial & dispute resolution system.
- To become a gateway for global capital flows into and out of India.
- To emerge as a regional/global hub for international financial services.
HDFC becomes 1st Private Bank to list Foreign Currency Bonds on IFSC Exchanges
HDFC Bank, India’s leading Private Bank, listed its 3.7% $ 1 Bn foreign currency AT1 bonds exclusively in GIFT IFSC today. With this major milestone, HDFC Bank became India’s first lender to exclusively list AT1 bonds in GIFT securities exchange. Global Securities Market, the primary market platform of India INX, has evoked significant interest since its establishment in 2018 and has more than $ 55+ Bn medium term notes established and over $ 28+ Bn of bond listings till date.
India INX and IFSCA have an endeavour to provide issuers with a comprehensive and seamless issuance and listing process at par with best global practices and hope to on board more and more issuers to list a wide variety of financial instruments on their platform in the future.
Update: On December 3, 2021, Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Infinity Forum on fintech, which among other things will discuss and come up with actionable insights into how technology can be leveraged by the fintech industry for inclusive growth.