News

HSBC aims to cut entry time to India

IndiaHSBC says a new document management system will "significantly" reduce the time – a month on average – it takes foreign investors to register to invest in Indian securities.

The FASTrak system categorises potential investors according to Indian regulations and lists the documents required, with validation checks and assistance to help investors get through a process some have found onerous.

"India is one of the fastest growing global economies and has been on investors' radars recently," says Kapil Seth, head of securities services, HSBC India. "However, while it has attracted a significant number of portfolio investors, a challenging and time consuming registration and documentation process has proven a significant deterrent."

HSBC's new service seems to chime with the efforts of India's president, Narendra Modi, who vowed to cut down on bureaucracy in the country as part of his pro-business election campaign.

However, some reforms are challenging to push through, including changes to the Indian tax system to prevent foreign portfolio investors being charged a minimum alternative tax (MAT). While the government has confirmed that MAT will not apply to foreign portfolio investors from April 2015, cases relating to earlier periods are still working their way through Indian courts.

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