SEBI to issue guidelines for real estate MF

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New Delhi, Apr 4: The Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) today said it will issue fresh guidelines to govern and monitor Real Estate Mutual Funds (REMF) in the next 15 days to ensure larger retail investor's participation in them as also to make sure that such investments are protected.

''Our legal department is having a look on guidelines on legal implications of REMF. As soon it finalises them, these would be made public,'' Whole Time Member SEBI Dr T C Nair said here at the 'Real Estate Mutual Funds' conference organised by Assocham. Dr Nair explained that the guidelines have been delayed as Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and SEBI had differences of opinion on valuation of REMF earlier which have been resolved and therefore, the fresh guidelines would fall in public domain at any time or within the maximum period of next two weeks.

He, however, clarified that the guidelines would govern and monitor only REMF and not the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) as for them, the regulator would work out separate guidelines or policy regime.

In the last five years from October 15, 2002 to October 15, 2007, the sensex has risen by 536 per cent though the sentiments in stocks these days are slightly lower but the markets would move northward and particularly mutual fund's industries contribution to it would be substantial, he continued.

Dr Nair added that 56 per cent of retail investors still prefer commercial banks and their fixed assets schemes for their savings and if six per cent of it is diverted towards mutual funds, its size would exceed many more time from current level of over 5,67,000 crores.

Speaking on the occasion, Assocham President Venugopal N Dhoot said Real Estate Mutual Funds industry has been wanting the guidelines and complimented Dr Nair that SEBI would come out with them in next two weeks, is a welcome step.

AMFI Chairman A P Kurien said mutual funds were active only in 8-10 cities and would further be extended to other corners.

He said that India needs many of REMF and not REITS as the former would have better scope for diversification as compared to the latter.


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