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Markets pray & take rest for Mahashivrartri

Sebi fixes cap on MF investment in debt with special features:

Pizer to make vaccines in India.

Indian stock markets will remain closed on Thursday on account of Mahashivratri. Trading will now resume on Friday.

The currency markets will also be shut during the day, while the commodity markets will be closed in the morning session, but will resume trading in the evening.

On Wednesday, the Indian equity market ended higher led by across-the-board gains amid positive global cues. The Sensex ended 254.03 points, or 0.50 percent higher at 51,279.51, while the Nifty closed at 15,174.80, up 76.40 points, or 0.51 percent. Midcap and smallcap indices outperformed the benchmarks.

Among sectors, Nifty IT, Nifty Metal and Nifty Pharma rallied the most over 1 percent each. On the Nifty50 index, Eicher Motors, JSW Steel, Hindalco Industries, Tata Steel and Bajaj Finance were the top gainers, while SBI Life insurance, ONGC, IOC, HDFC Life Insurance and Kotak Mahindra Bank were the top index losers.

Mumbai: Mutual fund schemes can invest a maximum of 10% of their assets in debt with special features such as perpetual bonds, the market regulator said, with a maximum of 5% in a single issuer.

The limits will apply only to new investments beginning 1 April.

Banks are common issuers of additional tier-1 (AT-1) and additional tier-2 (AT-2) bonds, also called perpetual bonds since they do not have a fixed maturity date. However, these bonds can be called in, or repaid, at certain intervals.

Funds with investments in such bonds or even enabling provisions to invest in them should facilitate side-pocketing in their schemes, a Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) circular said.

Side-pocketing refers to creating a separate portfolio of soured debt, allowing investors to exit the rest of the scheme without giving up on the chance of recovery in the debt. Sebi said conversion of such special bonds to equity can be a trigger for side-pocketing.

Pizer Inc has told the Indian government it wants to produce its coronavirus vaccine locally if assured of faster regulatory clearance and freedom on pricing and exports, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The U.S. company pulled an application last month seeking emergency approval for its product in India after the drug regulator declined its request to skip a small local safety trial. That has kept its vaccine, developed with Germany’s BioNTech SE, out of one of the world’s biggest drug markets.

Meanwhile, the Indian rupee on Wednesday recovered from the day’s lows to end higher by a marginal 2 paise at 72.91 against the American currency, tracking positive investor sentiment globally in the wake of easing bond yields. At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened at 72.97 against the greenback and witnessed an intraday high of 72.88 and a low of 73.10, according to news agency PTI.

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