About Participatory Notes
Introduction to Participatory Notes:
Participatory notes (PNs / P-Notes) are instruments used by investors or hedge funds that are not registered with the SEBI (Securities & Exchange Board of India) to invest in Indian securities. Indian based brokerages buy Indian-based securities and then issue participatory notes to foreign investors. Any dividends or capital gains collected from the underlying securities go back to the investors. Participatory notes are instruments used for making investments in the stock markets. However, they are not used within the country. They are used outside India for making investments in shares listed in that country. That is why they are also called offshore derivative instruments. In the Indian context, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and their sub-accounts mostly use these instruments for facilitating the participation of their overseas clients, who are not interested in participating directly in the Indian stock market. For example, Indian-based brokerages buy India-based securities and then issue participatory notes to foreign investors. Any dividends or capital gains collected from the underlying securities go back to the investors. Any entity investing in participatory notes is not required to register with SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), whereas all FIIs have to compulsorily get registered. Trading through participatory notes is easy because participatory notes are like contract notes transferable by endorsement and delivery. Secondly, some of the entities route their investment through participatory notes to take advantage of the tax laws of certain preferred countries. Thirdly, participatory notes are popular because they provide a high degree of anonymity, which enables large hedge funds to carry out their operations without disclosing their identity. Hedge Funds:
A hedge fund is a private investment fund open to a limited range of investors which is permitted by regulators to undertake a wider range of activities than other investment funds and which pays a performance fee to its investment manager. Although each fund will have its own strategy which determines the type of investments and the methods of investment it undertakes, hedge funds as a class invest in a broad range of investments, from shares, debt and commodities to works of art. As the name implies, hedge funds often seek to offset potential losses in the principal markets they invest in by hedging their investments using a variety of methods, most notably short selling. However, the term "hedge fund" has come to be applied to many funds that do not actually hedge their investments, and in particular to funds using short selling and other "hedging" methods to increase rather than reduce risk, with the expectation of increasing return. Hedge funds are typically open only to a limited range of professional or wealthy investors. This provides them with an exemption in many jurisdictions from regulations governing short selling, derivative contracts, leverage, fee structures and the liquidity of investments in the fund. A hedge fund will nevertheless voluntarily limit the scope of its activities via its contractual arrangements with the individual investors in order to give them some certainty surrounding the specific investments that will be invested by the hedge fund itself. The assets under management of a hedge fund can run into many billions, and this will usually be multiplied by leverage, meaning that their influence over markets is substantial. Hedge funds dominate certain specialty markets such as trading within derivatives with high-yield ratings and distressed debt making it imperative to understand hedge funds to comprehend the complexities and the impact of participatory notes. A hedge fund is a vehicle for holding and investing the funds of its investors. The fund...