SEBI is slowly re-defining InvITs: What’s at risk for the product and its institutional audience?

SEBI is slowly re-defining InvITs: What’s at risk for the product and its institutional audience?

Nominee directors, stewardship principles, governance requirements and more – the most recent round of governance-focussed amendments to the InvIT regime clearly demonstrate SEBI’s keenness to continue “developing” one of its most successful products: infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs).

However, each amendment seems to be introducing common changes for both public and private InvITs, indicating a broad-brush approach by SEBI. Naturally, the question which comes up – should there be a distinction between private InvITs which house institutional investors and public InvITs which house retail investors?

In this piece, we look at how InvITs were originally rolled out, SEBI’s most recent changes and what it means for the industry, and the future of private InvITs.

Key Takeaways

  • Strong minority unitholder protections introduced – for both public and private InvITs
  • Private InvITs originally designed to attract large institutional capital – light touch re- gulations allowed flexibility to parties to manage their arrangements
  • New changes include nominee director rights, stewardship principles and enhanced governance norms
  • Changes good for retail investors, but appear misplaced in more sophisticated private setups
  • Distinction between public and private InvITs seems to be fast fading – potentially risking the confidence of institutional investors in private InvITs

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