Real Estate Mfs May Finally Hit the Street

by : Propertiesmls

One of the roadbocks for the rollout of real estate mutual funds (REMF) in India may soon be cleared. Market watchdog Sebi is considering a proposal to address the contentious issue of disclosure of net asset value (NAV) of REMFs.

Sources close to the development say that Sebi is considering a six-monthly disclosure of NAVs by REMFs. Though mutual funds disclose NAVs on a daily basis, in the case of REMFs, real estate projects cannot be valued on a daily basis.

Last week, there was a meeting of the sub-committee appointed to finalise the disclosures and NAV determination process for real estate funds. A member of the committee told ET that although the committee has suggested some guidelines on the matter, only Sebi officials will take a final call on the matter. 'We have said that the disclosures for real estate funds should be broadly on the lines of equity funds, say, they will have to disclose their top 20 holdings under various categories like residential, commercial and so on. Disclosures within a stipulated time frame like six months are being considered,' he said. The source added that a final decision on the issue is yet to be taken.

While a mutual fund invests in stocks of listed companies and investors purchase units of the mutual fund, specialised real estate funds would invest in real estate. REMFs can either directly invest in real estate projects, or fund real estate developers or lend to them directly or buy shares of housing finance companies or may even buy their securitised assets.

The share price of mutual fund schemes is based on their NAV, which changes daily.
Though Sebi is yet to make an announcement, even on the eligibility criteria for launching a REMF, sources say property developers will not be allowed to roll out such a fund. This would allow only asset management companies to launch such funds. Already various fund houses, including UTI MF and HDFC MF, are working on developing such REMF schemes with the help of professional bodies like the UK-based Knight Frank.

However, globally developers launch real estate funds to gather funds from the public for their business.

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