NRI’s guide to Indian Equity Markets

NRIs generally tend to invest in stock-specific Indian funds as the potential returns from the market tend to be higher in general.

Mr. Sharma, an NRI Investor invested his funds in a residential flat. Upon the sale of such an asset, he can repatriate the funds freely to the extent of the money brought in to India.

For example, to purchase a flat at Bangalore, Mr. Sharma transferred Rs.1.25 Crores and sold it for Rs.2.00 Crores. He can transfer Rs.1.25 Crores freely without any approval from RB Iand without any upper limit restriction.

The proceeds of the sale from the asset is to be deposited only to a NRO account and then transferred to a NRE account to buy the property.

Mr. Ramakanth, another NRI working at USA holds a NRO Account in State Bank of India. During the Financial Year 2014-15, he had earned Rs.16000 as interest on his NRO Savings Account. He wants to know the eligibility of claiming deduction u/s 80 TTA.

Now the question is does the interest earned on a NROSaving Account entitled to get exemption u/s 80TTA?

Yes, so Mr. Ramakanth here is eligible to claim deduction on interest earned from his NRO Savings Account as Section 80 TTA talks about interest earned on Savings Account by Individual/ HUF.

But can NRIs do intraday trades?

No Intraday and BTST (Buy Today Sell Tomorrow) transactions are permitted. NRI Investors can only trade in delivery based transactions. One can use only F&O to hedge their portfolio. NRIs can not only transact at a time zone of their own convenience but also get complete control over fund transfers and transactions.

RBI has relaxed its rules and it is up to the investors’ bank to verify paper work within 8-10 days and get the account in place including the contract notes. They would definitely charge a fee for these. So it is advisable to look for trustworthy banks with a strong net worth and balance-sheets to assure that the best deal is available.

Trading allowed by NRI in a nutshell

  • NRIs can acquire shares of Indian companies through the stock exchanges in India through PIS.
  • NRI cannot transact in India except through stock broker.
  • NRIs can invest through designated ADs, on repatriation and non- repatriation basis under PIS route up to 5 per cent of the paid- up capital / paid-up value of each series of debentures of listed Indian companies.

Appointing a mandate holder

A mandate holder can be appointed to locally operate the NRE bank accounts of the NRI investor. The NRI must simply fill up a form.

RBI Guidelines benchmarked for NRO

  • NRI Investor can have 2 trading accounts NRE and NRO for subscription to IPOs.
  • Another best bet to invest in equities is through Index ETFs
  • NRIs are allowed to Invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

Best route to enter market is through FII Mutual Funds. At present there is quite an amount of interest in Indian equities. So most of the Mutual funds investing in Indian equity have India Specific Funds. For instance, Japan had come out with India specific funds. In this way, the money invested is a safe bet for an existing NRI investor.

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