Sources said VTB, Russia's second largest bank, has approached the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to obtain an FPI licence. Since March, three Russian non-bank asset managers have registered themselves as FPIs with Sebi.
VTB is controlled by the government of Russia which has the majority stake in the bank.
The proposal relating to VTB's registration as FPI will also need the approval of the RBI.
While applications for new FPI registrations and renewal of existing licences are cleared by Sebi, a green signal from the central bank is necessary when the applicant for the registration is an overseas bank having a branch office in India.
VTB, thanks to its ownership, may qualify for a Category I FPI registration which is granted to governments and government-related foreign investors such as central banks and sovereign wealth funds.
Category I FPIs can issue and subscribe to overseas derivative instruments (with Indian stocks as underlier), have higher position limits in derivatives, and are exempt from tax on indirect transfers.
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