SEBI Moots Framework for Corporate Debt Market Development Fund

Markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), issued a detailed framework for the Corporate Debt Market Development Fund (CDMDF) on July 27, 2023. In addition, SEBI also formulated investment guidelines for mutual funds in the units of such funds. 

This move is being undertaken after the markets regulator in June 2023 notified rules for setting up a CDMDF in the form of an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF). The fund will act as a backstop facility that would be used to purchase debt securities at times of market stress.

Simply put, CDMDF is a corpus that will buy investment-grade listed corporate debt securities from asset management companies (AMCs) or fund houses and provide them cash to ensure that redemptions continue without getting hampered. 

This will be a closed-ended scheme with an initial tenure of 15 years, which could be extended later as per SEBI’s mandate. When the conditions would be normal, it will invest only in short-duration government securities (G-Secs), treasury bills (T-bills), tri-party repo on G-Secs and guaranteed corporate bond repo with a maturity of not more than seven days.

At times when the market is normal, the fund will charge an expense of 15 basis points (bps) along with additional taxes. However, when the market would experience dislocation, this charge would subsequently surge to 20 bps plus taxes. Expenses include brokerages and clearing charges.

The fund will be required to disclose net asset value (NAV) by 9.30 pm on all business days on the website of its investment manager and the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI). In cases when CDMDF would have exposure to corporate debt, the NAV would be disclosed by 11 pm on all business days.

AMCs have been directed to make a one-time contribution of CDMDF at the rate of 2 bps of the AUM of debt schemes. Also, new fund houses are mandated to contribute such a one-time contribution at the rate of 2 bps of the AUM in specified debt schemes during the end of the first financial year.

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