Greater Mutual Fund Transparency in India: Enhanced Disclosure Protection for India’s Mutual Fund Unitholders in a Time of Market Volatility
India has been one of the darlings among emerging market economies over the past decade. It has experienced dizzying economic growth that has lifted great numbers of Indians out of poverty and changed the economic outlook of much of its populace. For the first time, many Indians have excess funds to save or invest, and the Indian mutual fund industry has enjoyed an explosion in popularity as a result of this economic boom, particularly among first time mutual fund investors.
One of the most important mechanisms for investor protection in any capital market is the provision of information to investors by market participants. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), India’s mutual fund regulator, has developed an information disclosure regime that, for the most part, has evolved along with the industry’s explosive growth. However, SEBI’s requirements have failed to keep pace with the industry’s torrid growth in certain key areas. Changes to this regime are particularly important given the market turmoil that has occurred in India recently, the likes of which many first time Indian mutual fund investors have likely never have experienced before. To that end, this Note proposes substantial modifications to the Indian mutual fund regulatory regime’s information disclosure requirements in certain key areas in order to maximize protections for Indian mutual fund investors, as well as to assuage their collective concerns.