RESERVE BANK OF INDIA, vide press release 2019-2020/2276 dated 27th April, 2020 has Announces Rs. 50,000 crore Special Liquidity Facility for Mutual Funds (SLF-MF) In view of the situation arising due to COVID-19 pandemic and extended lockdown period.
Why RBI Announces such Measure:
- Heightened volatility in capital markets
- liquidity strains on mutual funds (MFs),
- redemption pressures related to closure of some debt MFs
- potential contagious effects
- to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 and preserve financial stability
The scheme is available from today i.e., April 27, 2020 till May 11, 2020 or up to utilization of the allocated amount, whichever is earlier.
- With a view to easing liquidity pressures on MFs, it has been decided to open a special liquidity facility for mutual funds of ` 50,000 crore
- Under the SLF-MF, the RBI shall conduct repo operations of 90 days tenor at the fixed repo rate
- banks can submit their bids to avail funding on any day from Monday to Friday (excluding holidays).
- The Reserve Bank will review the timeline and amount, depending upon market conditions.
- Liquidity support would be eligible to be classified as held to maturity (HTM) even in excess of 25% of total investment permitted to be included in the HTM portfolio.
Note: Support extended to MFs under the SLF-MF shall be exempted from banks’ capital market exposure limits.
Utilization of Funds
Funds availed under the SLF-MF shall be used by banks exclusively for meeting the liquidity requirements of MFs by
(1) extending loans, and
(2) undertaking outright purchase of and/or repos against the collateral of investment grade corporate bonds, commercial papers (CPs), debentures and certificates of Deposit (CDs) held by MFs
How to Avail Benefits:
- This special repo window will be available to all LAF eligible banks and can be availed only for on-lending to Mutual funds
- The eligible banks may place their bids electronically on the CBS platform between 9 AM and 12.00 Noon every day
- The bidding process, settlement and reversal of SLF-MF repo would be similar to the existing system being followed in case of LAF/MSF.
- In case of over-subscription of the notified amount on any given day, the allotment will be done on pro-rata basis.
- The minimum bid amount would be Rupees one crore and multiples thereof. The allotment would be in multiples of Rupees one crore.
- A market participant can place bids of amount less than or equal to the notified amount of the issue announced on a given day.
- The eligible collateral and the applicable haircuts will remain the same as applicable for LAF.
Note: While banks will decide the tenor of lending to /repo with mutual funds, the minimum tenor of repo with RBI will be for a period of three months.
About Author: CS Lalit Rajput (Partner at Xcede Consultech LLP) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org