A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) is an Indian Citizen who stays abroad for employment or for conducting a business or vocation outside India. An NRI stays abroad under circumstances that indicate an intention to stay abroad for an indeterminate duration. Indians citizen serving in international organizations like the United Nations (UN) organizations and officials deputed abroad by Central or State Governments and Public Sector Undertakings on provisional assignments are also treated as NRIs.
Q. How can an NRI invest in Indian Mutual Funds?
A. An NRI looking to invest in Indian mutual funds needs to open either of the following accounts through banks providing this facility:
i. Non-Resident (External) Rupee (NRE) account:
An NRE account is a Rupee denominated account which is fully repatriable (repatriable refers to the ability of an asset to be moved from a foreign country back to an investor's home country). Any person residing outside India may open an NRE account with an authorized dealer. They can be opened with either funds that are remitted from abroad or local funds that are remitted abroad.
ii. Ordinary Non-resident Rupee (NRO) account:
An NRO account is a Rupee account and can be opened with funds either remitted from abroad or generated in India. NRO accounts do not allow for funds to be repatriated abroad.
iii. Fully Convertible Non-Rupee (FCNR) account:
These accounts are similar to NRE accounts except that the funds are held in foreign currency like USD, GBP, DEM, JPY, EURO etc.
Q. How does an NRI invest in Mutual Fund?
A.An NRI investor, having a valid KYC issued through KYC registration agency (KRA), needs to fill up the application form of the mutual fund company he wishes to invest in along with a Rupee cheque or draft. At present, NRI investors cannot make investments in foreign currency. It is mandatory for an NRI investor to have a bank account in India and he has to issue a cheque or draft in rupees from his NRE, NRO or FCNR bank account in India. At BOIAXA Mutual fund we do not accept investments from the citizen/Resident of USA/Canada and residents of NON-FATF countries cannot invest.
Q. Does an NRI need approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to invest in mutual fund schemes?
A. NRIs do not require special permission from the RBI as most Asset Management Companies (AMC) take prior permission that allow NRIs to invest in their schemes.
Q. How can funds be redeemed?
A. The following procedure should be followed to redeem funds:
To redeem units from an open-ended fund scheme, an investor should fill up the redemption slip and send it to office or Investor Service Center of his AMC.
To redeem units from a close-ended fund scheme, the investor can sell through the stock exchange, where it is listed, during the tenure of the scheme and in case of maturity, payout will be credited directly to his/her bank account.
Q. How are the redemption proceeds paid?
A. The redemption proceeds are payable only in Indian Rupees. They can either be paid by check or directly credited to the investor’s bank account. The latter facility is offered by select banks and is generally mentioned on the application form.
Q. How can an NRI repatriate redemption proceeds of a mutual fund investment?
A. Depending on the account (NRE/NRO/FNCR) from which the investment was done, the principal amount along with any capital appreciation may or may not be repatriated.
Investments made on a Repatriable Basis
The investments shall carry the right of repatriation of capital invested and capital appreciation so long as the investor continues to be a resident outside India.
In case of an FII, the designated branch of the authorised dealer may allow remittance of net sale / maturity proceeds (after payment of taxes) or credit the amount to the foreign currency or Non Resident rupee account of the FII maintained in accordance with the approval granted to it by the RBI.
In cases other than these, where the investment is made out of inward remittance or from funds held in NRE/FCNR account of the investor, the maturity proceeds may be credited to the NRE/FCNR account of the NRI maintained with the authorised dealer in India.
Q. What about redemption proceeds where investments were made on a non-repatriable basis?
In case of purchase of units made on a non-repatriable basis, the maturity proceeds will not qualify for repatriation and may be credited to the NRO/NRSR account of the NRI.
In case of investment made out of funds held in a NRSR account, the maturity proceeds may be credited to the NRSR account maintained by the investor with an authorised dealer in India.
Likewise, investments in units purchased in Rupees, where the investor was a resident of India and subsequently becomes a non-resident, will not qualify for repatriation of repurchase proceeds of units.
Q. Can a Power of Attorney invest on behalf of the NRI investor?
A. Yes, in a Mutual Fund the POA has the authority to invest on behalf of the investor and sign documents for initial and additional purchases along with redeeming units.
At the time of applying for purchase of units the POA holder needs to submit the original POA or a duly notarized copy. The Power of attorney should contain the signature of both the NRI Investor and the POA holder. Only when the POA is registered, the POA holder has the right to transact on behalf of the NRI investor and his signature is verified before processing any transaction.
Q. Can a resident Indian have a NRI as nominee?
A. Yes, a NRI can be a nominee subject to the prevailing RBI Exchange Control Regulations at a given time.