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Markets regulator Sebi has allowed as many as 268 entities to set up AIFs -- pooled-in investment vehicles for real estate, private equity and hedge funds -- over a period of more than four years. These Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) have been registered with Sebi since August 2012. As on November 15, as many as 268 AIFs are registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), latest data showed. Of these, 80 AIFs got the capital markets watchdog's nod in 2016 (till November 15) while 67 had procured the nod during 2015. Among the newly registered AIFs are Airavat Capital Trust, Scale Ventures Trust, Stakeboat Capital Fund, Pioneer Investment Fund, Sathguru Catalysers Trust, Aavishkar Bharat Fund and Milestone Commercial Advantage Fund. AIFs are funds established or incorporated in India for the purpose of pooling in capital from Indian and foreign investors for investing as per a pre-decided policy. Under Sebi guidelines, AIFs can operate broadly in three categories. Sebi rules apply to all AIFs, including those operating as private equity funds, real estate funds and hedge funds, among others. The regulator had notified in May 2012, the guidelines or this class of market intermediaries. The Category-I AIFs are those funds that get incentives from the government, Sebi or other regulators and include social venture funds, infrastructure funds, venture capital funds and SME funds. The Category-III AIFs are those trading with a view to make short-term returns and include hedge funds among others.
The Category-II AIFs can invest anywhere in any combination but are prohibited from raising debt, except for meeting their day-to-day operational requirements. These AIFs include private equity funds, debt funds or fund of funds, as also all others falling outside the ambit of above two other categories.
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