MASTER CIRCULAR – PRUDENTIAL NORMS FOR CLASSIFICATION, VALUATION AND OPERATION OF INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO BY BANKS
With the introduction of prudential norms on capital adequacy, income recognition, asset classification and provisioning requirements, the financial position of banks in India has improved in the last few years. Simultaneously, trading in securities market has improved in terms of turnover and the range of maturities dealt with. In view of these developments and taking into consideration the evolving international practices, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued guidelines on classification, valuation and operation of investment portfolio by banks from time to time as detailed below:
1.1 Investment Policy
i) Banks should frame Internal Investment Policy Guidelines and obtain the Board’s approval. The investment policy may be suitably framed/amended to include Primary Dealer (PD) activities also. Within the overall framework of the investment policy, the PD business undertaken by the bank will be limited to dealing, underwriting and market–making in Government Securities. Investments in Corporate/PSU/FI bonds, Commercial Papers, Certificate of Deposits, debt mutual funds and other fixed income securities will not be deemed to be part of PD business. The investment policy guidelines should be implemented to ensure that operations in securities are conducted in accordance with sound and acceptable business practices. While framing the investment policy, the following guidelines are to be kept in view by the banks:
(a) Banks may sell a government security already contracted for purchase, provided:
The purchase contract is confirmed prior to the sale,
The purchase contract is guaranteed by Clearing Corporation of India Ltd.(CCIL) or the security is contracted for purchase from the Reserve Bank and,
The sale transaction will settle either in the same settlement cycle as the preceding purchase contract, or in a subsequent settlement cycle so that the delivery obligation under the sale contract is met by the securities acquired under the purchase contract (e.g. when a security is purchased on T+0 basis, it can be sold on either T+0 or T+1 basis on the day of the purchase; if however it is purchased on T+1 basis, it can be sold on T+1 basis on the day of purchase or on T+0 or T+1 basis on the next day).
For purchase of securities from the Reserve Bank through Open Market Operations (OMO), no sale transactions should be contracted prior to receiving the confirmation of the deal/advice of allotment from the Reserve Bank.
In addition to the above, the Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) (other than RRBs and LABs) and PDs have been permitted to short sell Government securities in accordance with the requirements specified in Annex I-A.
Further, the NDS-OM members have been permitted to transact on ‘When Issued’ basis in Central Government dated securities, subject to the guidelines specified in Annex I-B.
(b) Banks successful in the auction of primary issue of Government Securities may enter into contracts for sale of the allotted securities in accordance with the terms and conditions as per Annex I-C.
(c) The settlement of all outright secondary market transactions in Government Securities is being done on a standardised T+1 basis effective May 24, 2005.
(d) All the transactions put through by a bank, either on outright basis or ready forward basis and whether through the mechanism of Subsidiary General Ledger (SGL) Account or Bank Receipt (BR), should be reflected on the same day in its investment account and, accordingly, for SLR purpose wherever applicable. With a view to bringing in uniformity in the methodology of accounting for investments in Government securities, banks should follow ‘Settlement Date’ accounting for recording purchase and sale of transactions in Government Securities.
(e) The brokerage on the deal payable to the broker, if any, (if the deal was put through with the help of a broker) should be clearly indicated on the notes/ memoranda put up to the top management seeking approval for putting through the transaction and a separate account of brokerage paid, broker-wise, should be maintained.
(f) For issue of BRs, the banks should adopt the format prescribed by the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) and strictly follow the guidelines prescribed by them in this regard. The banks, subject to the above, could issue BRs covering their own sale transactions only and should not issue BRs on behalf of their constituents, including brokers.
(g) The banks should be circumspect while acting as agents of their broker clients for carrying out transactions in securities on behalf of brokers.
(h) Any instance of return of SGL from the Public Debt Office (PDO) of the Reserve Bank for want of sufficient balance in the account should be immediately brought to the Reserve Bank's notice with the details of the transactions.
(i) Banks desirous of making investment in equity shares/ debentures should observe the following guidelines:
Build up adequate expertise in equity research by establishing a dedicated equity research department, as warranted by their scale of operations;
Formulate a transparent policy and procedure for investment in shares, etc., with the approval of the Board; and
The decision in regard to direct investment in shares, convertible bonds and debentures should be taken by the Investment Committee set up by the bank's Board. The Investment Committee should be held accountable for the investments made by the bank.
ii) Banks should clearly lay down the broad investment objectives to be followed while undertaking transactions in securities on their own investment account and on behalf of clients, clearly define the authority to put through deals, procedure to be followed for obtaining the sanction of the appropriate authority, procedure to be followed while putting through deals, various prudential exposure limits and the reporting system. While laying down such investment policy guidelines, banks should obtain the approval of respective Boards and strictly observe Reserve Bank's detailed instructions on the following aspects:
STRIPS (Paragraph 1.1.1)
Ready Forward (buy back) deals in G-Sec (Paragraph 1.1.2)
Transactions through Subsidiary General Ledger A/c (Paragraph 1.1.3)
Use of Bank Receipts (Paragraph 1.1.4)
Retailing of Government Securities (Paragraph 1.1.5)
Internal Control System (Paragraph 1.1.6)
Dealings through Brokers (Paragraph 1.1.7)
Audit, Review and Reporting (Paragraph 1.1.8)
iii) The aforesaid instructions will be applicable mutatis mutandis, to the subsidiaries and mutual funds established by banks, except where they are contrary to or inconsistent with, specific regulations of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Reserve Bank, governing their operations.
STRIPS stands for Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal Securities. Stripping is a process of converting periodic coupon payments of an existing Government Security into tradable zero-coupon securities, which will usually trade in the market at a discount and are redeemed at face value. For instance, stripping a five-year Government Security would yield 10 coupon securities (representing the coupons), maturing on the respective coupon dates and one principal security representing the principal amount, maturing on the redemption date of the five-year security. Reconstitution is the reverse process of stripping, where, the Coupon STRIPS and Principal STRIPS are reassembled into the original Government Security. Detailed guidelines outlining the process of stripping/reconstitution and other operational procedures regarding transactions in STRIPS are given inAnnex I-D.
1.1.2 Ready Forward Contracts in Government Securities.
The terms and conditions subject to which ready forward contracts (including reverse ready forward contracts) may be entered into are as under:
(a) Ready forward contracts may be undertaken only in (i) Dated Securities and Treasury Bills issued by Government of India and (ii) Dated Securities issued by State Governments.
(b) Ready forward contracts in the above-mentioned securities may be entered into by:
i) persons or entities maintaining a Subsidiary General Ledger (SGL) account with RBI, Mumbai and
ii) the following categories of entities who do not maintain SGL accounts with the Reserve Bank but maintain gilt accounts (i.e gilt account holders) with a bank or any other entity (i.e. the custodian) permitted by the Reserve Bank to maintain Constituent Subsidiary General Ledger (CSGL) account with its PDO, Mumbai:
(a) Any scheduled bank,
(b) Any PD authorised by the Reserve Bank,
(c) Any Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) registered with the Reserve Bank, other than Government Companies as defined in Section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956,
(d) Any mutual fund registered with the SEBI,
(e) Any housing finance company registered with the National Housing Bank (NHB)),
(f) Any insurance company registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority(IRDA),
(g) Any non-scheduled Urban Co-operative bank,
(h) Any listed company, having a gilt account with a SCB, subject to the following conditions:
The minimum period for Reverse Repo (lending of funds) by listed companies is seven days. However, listed companies can borrow funds through repo for shorter periods including overnight;
Where the listed company is a 'buyer' of securities in the first leg of the repo contract (i.e. lender of funds), the custodian through which the repo transaction is settled should block these securities in the gilt account and ensure that these securities are not further sold or rerepoed during the repo period but are held for delivery under the second leg; and
The counterparty to the listed companies for repo / reverse repo transactions should be either a bank or a PD maintaining SGL Account with the Reserve Bank.
(i) Any unlisted company which has been issued special securities by the Government of India and having gilt account with a SCB; subject to the following conditions in addition to the conditions stipulated for listed company:
The eligible unlisted companies can enter into ready forward transactions as the borrower of funds in the first leg of the repo contract only against the collateral of the special securities issued to them by the Government of India; and
The counterparty to the eligible unlisted companies for repo transactions should be either a bank or a PD maintaining SGL account with the Reserve Bank.
(c) All persons or entities specified at b(ii) above can enter into ready forward transactions among themselves subject to the following restrictions:
An SGL account holder may not enter into a ready forward contract with its own constituent. That is, ready forward contracts should not be undertaken between a custodian and its gilt account holder,
Any two gilt account holders maintaining their gilt accounts with the same custodian (i.e., the CSGL account holder) may not enter into ready forward contracts with each other, and
Cooperative banks may not enter into ready forward contracts withNBFCs. This restriction would not apply to repo transactions between Urban Co-operative banks and authorised PDs in Government Securities.
(d) All ready forward contracts shall be reported on the Negotiated Dealing System (NDS). In respect of ready forward contracts involving gilt account holders, the custodian (i.e., the CSGL account holder) with whom the gilt accounts are maintained will be responsible for reporting the deals on the NDS on behalf of the constituents (i.e. the gilt account holders).
(e) All ready forward contracts shall be settled through the SGL Account / CSGL Account maintained with the RBI, Mumbai, with the Clearing Corporation of India Ltd. (CCIL) acting as the central counter party for all such ready forward transactions.
(f) The custodians should put in place an effective system of internal control and concurrent audit to ensure that:
ready forward transactions are undertaken only against the clear balance of securities in the gilt account,
all such transactions are promptly reported on the NDS, and
other terms and conditions referred to above have been complied with.
(g) The RBI regulated entities can undertake ready forward transactions only in securities held in excess of the prescribed Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) requirements.
(h) No sale transaction shall be put through, in the first leg of a ready forward transaction by CSGL constituent entities without actually holding the securities in the portfolio.
(i) Securities purchased under the ready forward contracts shall not be sold during the period of the contract except by entities permitted to undertake short selling,
(j) Double ready forward deals in any security are strictly prohibited.
(k) The guidelines for uniform accounting for Repo / Reverse Repo transactions are furnished in paragraph 4.
1.1.3 Transactions through SGL account
The following instructions should be followed by banks for purchase / sale of securities through SGL A/c, under the Delivery Versus Payment System wherein the transfer of securities takes place simultaneously with the transfer of funds. It is, therefore, necessary for both the selling bank and the buying bank to maintain current account with the Reserve Bank. As no ‘Overdraft facility’ in the current account would be extended, adequate balance in current account should be maintained by banks for effecting any purchase transaction.
All transactions in Government Securities for which SGL facility is available should be put through SGL A/cs only.
Under no circumstances, a SGL transfer form issued by a bank in favour of another bank should bounce for want of sufficient balance of securities in the SGL A/c of seller or for want of sufficient balance of funds in the current a/c of the buyer.
The SGL transfer form received by purchasing banks should be deposited in their SGL A/cs. immediately i.e. the date of lodgment of the SGL Form with the Reserve Bank shall be within one working day after the date of signing of the Transfer Form. While in cases of OTC trades, the settlement has to be only on 'spot' delivery basis as per Section 2(i) of the Securities Contracts (Regulations) Act, 1956, in cases of deals on the recognised Stock Exchanges; settlement should be within the delivery period as per their rules, bye laws and regulations. In all the cases, participants must indicate the deal/trade/contract date in Part C of the SGL Form under 'Sale date'. Where this is not completed the SGL Form will not be accepted by the Reserve Bank.
No sale should be effected by way of return of SGL form held by the bank.
SGL transfer forms should be signed by two authorised officials of the bank whose signatures should be recorded with the respective PDOs of the Reserve Bank and other banks.
The SGL transfer forms should be in the standard format prescribed by the Reserve Bank and printed on semi-security paper of uniform size. They should be serially numbered and there should be a control system in place to account for each SGL form.
If a SGL transfer form bounces for want of sufficient balance in the SGL A/c, the (selling) bank which has issued the form will be liable to the following penal action against it :
The amount of the SGL form (cost of purchase paid by the purchaser of the security) would be debited immediately to the current account of the selling bank with the Reserve Bank.
In the event of an overdraft arising in the current account following such a debit, penal interest would be charged by the Reserve Bank, on the amount of the overdraft, at a rate of 3 percentage points above the SBI Discount and Finance House of India's (SBIDFHI) call money lending rate on the day in question. However, if the SBIDFHI's closing call money rate is lower than the prime lending rate of banks, as stipulated in the Reserve Bank's interest rate directive in force, the applicable penal rate to be charged will be 3 percentage points, above the prime lending rate of the bank concerned, and
SGL bouncing shall mean failure of settlement of a Government Securities transaction on account of insufficiency of funds in the current account of the buyer or insufficiency of securities in the SGL / CSGL account of the seller, maintained with the Reserve Bank. In the event of bouncing of SGL transfer forms and the failure of the account holder concerned to offer satisfactory explanation for such bouncing, the account holder shall be liable to pay penalties as under:
(i) Graded monetary penalties subject to a maximum penalty of Rs.5 lakhs per instance;
Illustration [Penal amount on Rs.5 crore default]
First three defaults in a financial year (April to March)
0.10% (10 paise per Rs.100 FV)
Next three defaults in the same financial year
0.25% (25 paise per Rs.100 FV.)
Next three defaults in the same financial year
0.50% (50 paise per Rs.100 FV)
(ii) On the tenth default in a financial year, the eligible entities will be debarred from using the SGL A/c for undertaking short sales in Government Securities even to the extent permissible under circular IDMD.No/11.01.01(B)/2006-07 dated January 31, 2007 as amended from time to time, during the remaining portion of the financial year. In the next financial year, upon being satisfied that the a/c holder in question has effected improvements in its internal control systems, the Reserve Bank may grant specific approval for undertaking short sales by using the SGL A/c facility.
(iii) The monetary penalty may be paid by the account holder concerned by way of a cheque or through electronic mode for the amount favouring the Reserve Bank, within five working days of receipt of intimation of order imposing penalty from the Reserve Bank.
The defaulting member shall make appropriate disclosure, on the number of instances of default as well as the quantum of penalty paid to the Reserve Bank during the financial year, under the “Notes to Account” in its balance sheet.
The Reserve Bank reserves the right to take any action including temporary or permanent debarment of the SGL account holder, in accordance with the powers conferred under the Government Securities Act, 2006 as it may deem fit, for violation of the terms and conditions of the opening and maintenance of SGL/ CSGL accounts or breach of the operational guidelines issued from time to time.
1.1.4 Use of Bank Receipt (BR)
The banks should followthe following instructions for issue of BRs:
a) No BR should be issued under any circumstances in respect of transactions inGovernment Securities for which SGL facility is available.
b) Even in the case of other securities, BR may be issued for ready transactions only, under the following circumstances:
The scrips are yet to be issued by the issuer and the bank is holding the allotment advice.
The security is physically held at a different centre and the bank is in a position to physically transfer the security and give delivery thereof within a short period.
The security has been lodged for transfer / interest payment and the bank is holding necessary records of such lodgments and will be in a position to give physical delivery of the security within a short period.
c) No BR should be issued on the basis of a BR (of another bank) held by the bank and no transaction should take place on the basis of a mere exchange of BRs held by the bank.
d) BRs could be issued covering transactions relating to banks' own Investments Accounts only, and no BR should be issued by banks covering transactions relating to either the Accounts of Portfolio Management Scheme (PMS) Clients or Other Constituents' Accounts, including brokers.
e) No BR should remain outstanding for more than 15 days.
f) A BR should be redeemed only by actual delivery of scrips and not by cancellation of the transaction/set off against another transaction. If a BR is not redeemed by delivery of scrips within the validity period of 15 days, the BR should be deemed as dishonoured and the bank which has issued the BR should refer the case to the Reserve Bank, explaining the reasons for which the scrips could not be delivered within the stipulated period and the proposed manner of settlement of the transaction.
g) BRs should be issued on semi-security paper, in the standard format (prescribed by IBA), serially numbered and signed by two authorised officials of the bank, whose signatures are recorded with other banks. As in the case of SGL forms, there should be a control system in place to account for each BR form.
h) Separate registers of BRs issued and BRs received should be maintained and arrangements should be put in place to ensure that these are systematically followed up and liquidated within the stipulated time limit.
i) The banks should also have a proper system for the custody of unused BR Forms and their utilisation. The existence and operations of these controls at the concerned offices/ departments of the bank should be reviewed, among others, by the statutory auditors and a certificate to this effect may be forwarded every year to the Regional Office of Department of Banking Supervision (DBS), RBI, under whose jurisdiction the Head Office of the bank is located.
j) Any violation of the instructions relating to BRs would invite penal action, which could include raising of reserve requirements, withdrawals of refinance facility from the Reserve Bank and denial of access to money markets. The Reserve Bank may also levy such other penalty as it may deem fit in accordance with the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
1.1.5 Retailing of Government Securities
The banks may undertake retailing of Government Securities with non-bank clients subject to the following conditions:
Such retailing should be on outright basis and there is no restriction on the period between sale and purchase.
The retailing of Government Securities should be on the basis of ongoing market rates/ yield curve emerging out of secondary market transactions.
1.1.6 Internal Control System
The banks should observe the following guidelines for internal control system in respect of investment transactions:
There should be a clear functional separation of (i) trading, (ii) settlement, monitoring and control and (iii) accounting. Similarly, there should be a functional separation of trading and back office functions relating to banks' own Investment Accounts, Portfolio Management Scheme (PMS) Clients’ Accounts and other Constituents (including brokers') accounts. The Portfolio Management service may be provided to clients, subject to strictly following the guidelines in regard thereto (covered in paragraph 1.3.3). Further, PMS Clients Accounts should be subjected to a separate audit by external auditors.
In the interest of maintaining integrity and orderly conditions in the government securities market, all SGL/CSGL account holders should adhere to the FIMMDA code of conduct while executing trades on NDS-OM and in the OTC market.
For every transaction entered into, the trading desk should prepare a deal slip which should contain data relating to nature of the deal, name of the counter-party, whether it is a direct deal or through a broker, and if through a broker, name of the broker, details of security, amount, price, contract date and time. The deal slips should be serially numbered and controlled separately to ensure that each deal slip has been properly accounted for. Once the deal is concluded, the dealer should immediately pass on the deal slip to the back office for recording and processing. For each deal there must be a system of issue of confirmation to the counterparty. The timely receipt of requisite written confirmation from the counterparty, which must include all essential details of the contract, should be monitored by the back office.
With respect to transactions matched on the NDS-OM module, since CCIL is the central counterparty to all deals, exposure of any counterparty for a trade is only to CCIL and not to the entity with whom a deal matches. Besides, details of all deals on NDS-OM are available to the counterparties as and when required by way of reports on NDS-OM itself. In view of the above, the need for counterparty confirmation of deals matched on NDS-OM does not arise. The deals in Government Security transactions in OTC market that are mandated to be settled through CCIL by reporting on the NDS, are not required to be confirmed physically as OTC deals depend on electronic confirmation by the back offices of both the counterparties on NDS system like the NDS-OM deals.
However, all Government Securities transactions, other than those mentioned above, will continue to be physically confirmed by the back offices of the counterparties, as hitherto.
Once a deal has been concluded, there should not be any substitution of the counter party bank by another bank by the broker, through whom the deal has been entered into; likewise, the security sold/purchased in the deal should not be substituted by another security.
On the basis of vouchers passed by the back office (which should be done after verification of actual contract notes received from the broker/ counterparty and confirmation of the deal by the counterparty), the Accounts Section should independently write the books of account.
In the case of transaction relating to PMS Clients' Accounts (including brokers), all the relative records should give a clear indication that the transaction belongs to PMS Clients/ other constituents and does not belong to bank's own Investment Account and the bank is acting only in its fiduciary/ agency capacity.
(i) Records of SGL transfer forms issued/ received, should be maintained.
(ii) Balances as per bank's books should be reconciled at quarterly intervals with the balances in the books of PDOs. If the number of transactions so warrant, the reconciliation should be undertaken more frequently, say on a monthly basis. This reconciliation should be periodically checked by the internal audit department.
(iii) Any bouncing of SGL transfer forms issued by selling banks in favour of the buying bank, should immediately be brought to the notice of the Regional Office of DBS of the Reserve Bank by the buying bank.
(iv) A record of BRs issued/ received should be maintained.
(v) A system for verification of the authenticity of the BRs and SGL transfer forms received from the other banks and confirmation of authorised signatories should be put in place.
Banks should put in place a reporting system to report to their top management, on a weekly basis, the details of transactions in securities, details of bouncing of SGL transfer forms issued by other banks and BRs outstanding for more than one month and a review of investment transactions undertaken during the period.
Banks should not draw cheques on their account with the Reserve Bank for third partytransactions, including inter-bank transactions. For such transactions, bankers' cheques/ pay orders should be issued.
In case of investment in shares, the surveillance and monitoring of investment should be done by the Audit Committee of the Board, which shall review in each of its meetings, the total exposure of the bank to capital market, both fund based and non-fund based, in different forms as stated above and ensure that the guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank are complied with and adequate risk management and internal control systems are in place.
The Audit Committee should keep the Board informed about the overall exposure to capital market, the compliance with the Reserve Bank and Board guidelines, adequacy of risk management and internal control systems.
In order to avoid any possible conflict of interest, it should be ensured that the stockbrokers as directors on the Boards of banks or in any other capacity, do not involve themselves in any manner with the Investment Committee or in the decisions in regard to making investments in shares, etc., or advances against shares.
The internal audit department should audit the transactions in securities on an ongoing basis, monitor the compliance with the laid down management policies and prescribed procedures and report the deficiencies directly to the management of the bank.
The banks' managements should ensure that there are adequate internal control and audit procedures for ensuring proper compliance of the instructions in regard to the conduct of the investment portfolio. The banks should institute a regular system of monitoring compliance with the prudential and other guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank. The banks should get compliance in key areas certified by their statutory auditors and furnish such audit certificate to the Regional Office of DBS, RBI under whose jurisdiction the HO of the bank falls.
1.1.7 Engagement of brokers
i) For engagement of brokers to deal in investment transactions, the banks should observe the following guidelines:
Transactions between one bank and another bank should not be put through the brokers' accounts. The brokerage on the deal payable to the broker, if any (if the deal was put through with the help of a broker), should be clearly indicated on the notes/memorandum put up to the top management seeking approval for putting through the transaction and separate account of brokerage paid, broker-wise, should be maintained.
If a deal is put through with the help of a broker, the role of the broker should be restricted to that of bringing the two parties to the deal together.
While negotiating the deal, the broker is not obliged to disclose the identity of the counterparty to the deal. On conclusion of the deal, he should disclose the counterparty and his contract note should clearly indicate the name of the counterparty. It should also be ensured by the bank that the broker note contains the exact time of the deal. Their back offices may ensure that the deal time on the broker note and the deal ticket is the same. The bank should also ensure that their concurrent auditors audit this aspect.
On the basis of the contract note disclosing the name of the counterparty, settlement of deals between banks, viz. both fund settlement and delivery of security should be directly between the banks and the broker should have no role to play in the process.
With the approval of their top managements, banks should prepare a panel of approved brokers which should be reviewed annually or more often if so warranted. Clear-cut criteria should be laid down for empanelment of brokers, including verification of their creditworthiness, market reputation, etc. A record of broker-wise details of deals put through and brokerage paid, should be maintained.
A disproportionate part of the business should not be transacted through only one or a few brokers. Banks should fix aggregate contract limits for each of the approved brokers. A limit of 5% of total transactions through brokers (both purchase and sales) entered into by a bank during a year should be treated as the aggregate upper contract limit for each of the approved brokers. This limit should cover both the business initiated by a bank and the business offered/brought to the bank by a broker. Banks should ensure that the transactions entered into through individual brokers during a year normally do not exceed this limit. However, if for any reason it becomes necessary to exceed the aggregate limit for any broker, the specific reasons for the same should be recorded, in writing, by the authority empowered to put through the deals. Further, the board should be informed of this, post facto. However, the norm of 5% would not be applicable to banks' dealings through PDs.
(g) The concurrent auditors who audit the treasury operations should scrutinise the business done through brokers also and include it in their monthly report to the Chief Executive Officer of the bank. Besides, the business put through any individual broker or brokers in excess of the limit, with the reasons for the same, should be covered in the half-yearly review to the Board of Directors/Local Advisory Board. These instructions also apply to subsidiaries and mutual funds of the banks.
[Certain clarifications on the instructions are furnished in the Annex II.]
ii) Inter-bank securities transactions should be undertaken directly between banks and no bank should engage the services of any broker in such transactions.
Note (i) Banks may undertake securities transactions among themselves or with non-bank clients through members of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), OTC Exchange of India (OTCEI), the Stock Exchange, Mumbai (BSE) and MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX). If such transactions are not undertaken on the NSE, OTCEI, BSE or MCX-SX, the same should be undertaken by banks directly, without engaging brokers.
Note (ii) Although the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 defines the term `securities' to mean corporate shares, debentures, Government Securities and rights or interest in securities, the term `securities' would exclude corporate shares. The Provident / Pension Funds and Trusts registered under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882, will be outside the purview of the expression `non-bank clients’ for the purpose of note (i) above.
1.1.8 Audit, review and reporting of investment transactions
The banks should adhere to the following instructions in regard to audit, review and reporting of investment transactions:
Banks should undertake a half-yearly review (as of March 31 and September 30) of their investment portfolio, which should, apart from other operational aspects of investment portfolio, clearly indicate amendments made to the Investment Policy and certify adherence to laid down internal investment policy and procedures and the Reserve Bank guidelines, and put up the same before their respective Boards within a month, i.e. by end-April and end-October.
A copy of the review report put up to the Bank's Board, should be forwarded to the Reserve Bank (concerned Regional Office of DBS, RBI) by May 15 and November 15respectively.
In view of the possibility of abuse, treasury transactions should be separately subjected to concurrent audit by internal auditors and the results of their audit should be placed before the CMD of the bank once every month. Banks need not forward copies of the above mentioned concurrent audit reports to the Reserve Bank. However, the major irregularities observed in these reports and the position of compliance thereto may be incorporated in the half yearly review of the investment portfolio.
1.2 Non- SLR investments
Banks have made significant investment in privately placed unrated bonds and, in certain cases, in bonds issued by corporates who are not their borrowers. While assessing such investment proposals on private placement basis, in the absence of standardised and mandated disclosures, including credit rating, banks may not be in a position to conduct proper due diligence to take an investment decision. Thus, there could be deficiencies in the appraisal of privately placed issues.
(ii) The risk arising from inadequate disclosure in offer documents should be recognized. In this connection, SEBI has notified the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue and Listing of Debt Securities) Regulations, 2008 and also simplified listing agreement for Debt Securities vide their circular dated May 11, 2009 and subsequent amendments, both for issuers whose equity shares are listed or not listed on the Exchange. Banks may henceforth adhere to the SEBI regulations with respect to the disclosure norms for issue of debt securities. Even in case of investment in non-SLR debt securities which are not listed, banks may ensure that the disclosure standards prescribed by SEBI are adhered to. All other guidelines issued by RBI with respect to investment in Non-SLR securities remain unchanged.
(iii) Internal assessment
With a view to ensuring that the investments by banks in issues through private placement, both of the borrower customers and non-borrower customers, do not give rise to systemic concerns, it is necessary that banks should ensure that their investment policies duly approved by the Board of Directors are formulated after taking into account the following aspects:
The Boards of banks should lay down policy and prudential limits on investments in bonds and debentures including those on private placement basis, sub limits for PSU bonds, corporate bonds, guaranteed bonds, issuer ceiling, etc.
Investment proposals should be subjected to the same degree of credit risk analysis as any loan proposal. Banks should make their own internal credit analysis and rating even in respect of rated issues and should not entirely rely on the ratings of external agencies. The appraisal should be more stringent in respect of investments in instruments issued by non-borrower customers.
Strengthen their internal rating systems which should also include building up of a system of regular (quarterly or half-yearly) tracking of the financial position of the issuer with a view to ensuring continuous monitoring of the rating migration of the issuers/issues.
As a matter of prudence, banks should stipulate entry-level minimum ratings/ quality standards and industry-wise, maturity-wise, duration-wise, issuer-wise etc. limits to mitigate the adverse impacts of concentration and the risk of illiquidity.
The banks should put in place proper risk management systems for capturing and analysing the risk in respect of these investments and taking remedial measures in time.
(iv) Some banks/FIs have not exercised due precaution by reference to the list of defaulters circulated/published by the Reserve Bank while investing in bonds, debentures, etc., of companies. Banks may, therefore, exercise due caution, while taking any investment decision to subscribe to bonds, debentures, shares etc., and refer to the ‘Defaulters List’ to ensure that investments are not made in companies/entities who are defaulters to banks/FIs. Some of the companies may be undergoing adverse financial position, turning their accounts to sub-standard category due to recession in their industry segment, like textiles. Despite restructuring facility provided under the Reserve Bank guidelines, the banks have been reported to be reluctant to extend further finance, though considered warranted on merits of the case. Banks may not refuse proposals for such investments in companies whose director’s name(s) find place in the ‘Defaulter Companies List’ circulated by the Reserve Bank at periodical intervals and particularly in respect of those loan accounts, which have been restructured under extant RBI guidelines, provided the proposal is viable and satisfies all parameters for such credit extension.
Prudential guidelines on investment in Non-SLR securities
These guidelines cover banks’ investments in non-SLR securities issued by corporates, banks, FIs and State and Central Government sponsored institutions, Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) etc., including capital gains bonds, bonds eligible for priority sector status. The guidelines will apply to investments both in the primary market as well as the secondary market.
1.2.3 The guidelines on listing and rating pertaining to non-SLR securities videparagraphs 1.2.7 to 1.2.16 are not applicable to banks’ investments in:
Securities directly issued by the Central and State Governments, which are not reckoned for SLR purposes.
Units of equity oriented mutual fund schemes, viz. those schemes where any part of the corpus can be invested in equity
Equity/debt instruments/Units issued by Venture capital funds
Certificates of Deposit
Non Convertible Debentures (NCDs) with original or initial maturity up to one year issued by corporates (including NBFCs)
Securities acquired by way of conversion of debt, subject to periodic reporting to the Reserve Bank in the DSB return on Asset Quality.
1.2.4 Definitions of a few terms used in these guidelines have been furnished in Annex III with a view to ensure uniformity in approach while implementing the guidelines.
1.2.5 Banks should not invest in Non-SLR securities of original maturity of less than one-year, other than Commercial Paper and Certificates of Deposits and NCDs with original or initial maturity up to one year issued by corporates (including NBFCs), which are covered under RBI guidelines. However, while investing in such NCDs banks should be guided by the extant prudential guidelines in force, ensure that the issuer has disclosed the purpose for which the NCDs are being issued in the disclosure document and such purposes are eligible for bank finance to Non-Banking Financial Companies under extant RBI guidelines.
1.2.6 Banks should undertake usual due diligence in respect of investments in non-SLR securities. Present RBI regulations preclude banks from extending credit facilities for certain purposes. Banks should ensure that such activities are not financed by way of funds raised through the non-SLR securities.
Listing and rating requirements
1.2.7 Banks must not invest in unrated non-SLR securities. However, the banks may invest in unrated bonds of companies engaged in infrastructure activities, within the ceiling of 10 per cent for unlisted non-SLR securities as prescribed vide paragraph 1.2.10 below.
1.2.8 The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) vide their circular dated May 11, 2009 and subsequent amendments has stipulated requirements that companies are required to comply with, for making issue of debt securities on a private placement basis and listed on a stock exchange. According to this circular, any company, making issue of debt securities on a private placement basis and listed on a stock exchange, has to make full disclosures (initial and continuing) in the manner prescribed in Schedule II of the Companies Act 1956, SEBI (Disclosure and Investor Protection) Guidelines, 2000 and the Listing Agreement with the exchanges. Furthermore, the debt securities shall carry a credit rating of not less than investment grade from a Credit Rating Agency registered with the SEBI.
1.2.9 Accordingly, while making fresh investments in non-SLR debt securities, banks should ensure that such investments are made only in listed debt securities of companies which comply with the requirements of the SEBI circular dated September 30, 2003(amended vide circular dated May 11, 2009), except to the extent indicated in paragraph 1.2.10 and 1.2.11 below.
Fixing of prudential limits
1.2.10 Bank’s investment in unlisted non-SLR securities should not exceed 10 per cent of its total investment in non-SLR securities as on March 31, of the previous year, and such investment should comply with the disclosure requirements as prescribed by the SEBI for listed companies. Further, as there is a time lag between issuance and listing of securities, investment in non-SLR debt securities (both primary and secondary market) by banks where the security is proposed to be listed on the Exchange(s) may be considered as investment in listed security at the time of making investment. However, if such security is not listed within the period specified, the same will be reckoned for the 10 per cent limit specified for unlisted non-SLR securities. In case such investments included under unlisted non-SLR securities lead to a breach of the 10 per cent limit, the bank would not be allowed to make further investment in non-SLR securities (both primary and secondary market) as also in unrated bonds issued by companies engaged in infrastructure activities till such time bank’s investment in unlisted non-SLR securities comes within the limit of 10 per cent.
1.2.11 Bank’s investment in unlisted non-SLR securities may exceed the limit of 10 per cent, by an additional 10 per cent, provided the investment is on account of investment in Securitisation papers issued for infrastructure projects, and bonds/debentures issued by Securitisation Companies (SCs) and Reconstruction Companies (RCs) set up under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act) and registered with the Reserve Bank. In other words, investments exclusively in securities specified in this paragraph could be up to the maximum permitted limit of 20 per cent of non-SLR investment.
1.2.12 The total investment by banks in liquid/short term debt schemes (by whatever name called) of mutual funds with weighted average maturity of portfolio of not more than 1 year, will be subject to a prudential cap of 10 per cent of their net worth as on March 31 of the previous year. The weighted average maturity would be calculated as average of the remaining period of maturity of securities weighted by the sums invested.
1.2.13 Investment in the following will not be reckoned as ‘unlisted non-SLR securities’ for computing compliance with the prudential limits prescribed in the above guidelines:
Security Receipts issued by SCs / RCs registered with the Reserve Bank.
Investment in Asset Backed Securities (ABS) and Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are rated at or above the minimum investment grade. However, there will be close monitoring of exposures to ABS on a bank specific basis based on monthly reports to be submitted to the Reserve Bank as per proforma being separately advised by the DBS.
Investments in unlisted convertible debentures. However, investments in these instruments would be treated as “Capital Market Exposure”.
1.2.14 The investments in RIDF/SIDBI/RHDF deposits may not be reckoned as part of the numerator as well as denominator for computing compliance with the prudential limit of 10 per cent of its total non-SLR securities as on March 31, of the previous year.
1.2.15 With effect from January 1, 2005, only investment in units of such mutualfund schemes, which have an exposure to unlisted securities of less than 10 per cent of the corpus of the fund, will be treated on par with listed securities for the purpose of compliance with the prudential limits prescribed in the above guidelines. While computing the exposure to the unlisted securities for compliance with the norm of less than 10 percent of the corpus of the mutual fund scheme, Treasury Bills, Collateralised Borrowing and Lending Obligations (CBLO), Repo/Reverse Repo and Bank Fixed Deposits may not be included in the numerator.
1.2.16 For the purpose of the prudential limits prescribed in the guidelines, the denominator, viz., 'non-SLR investments', would include investment under the following four categories in Schedule 8 to the balance sheet viz., 'shares', 'bonds & debentures', 'subsidiaries/joint ventures' and 'others'.
1.2.17 Banks whose investment in unlisted non-SLR securities are within the prudential limit of 10 per cent of its total non-SLR securities as on March 31, of the previous year may make fresh investment in such securities and up to the prudential limits.
Role of Boards
1.2.18 Banks should ensure that their investment policies, duly approved by the Board of Directors, are formulated after taking into account all the relevant issues specified in these guidelines on investment in non-SLR securities. Banks should put in place proper risk management systems for capturing and analysing the risk in respect of non-SLR investment and taking remedial measures in time. Banks should also put in place appropriate systems to ensure that investment in privately placed instruments is made in accordance with the systems and procedures prescribed under respective bank’s investment policy.
1.2.19 Boards of banks should review the following aspects of non-SLR investment at least at quarterly intervals:
Total business (investment and divestment) during the reporting period.
Compliance with the prudential limits prescribed by the Board for non-SLR investment.
Compliance with the prudential guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank on non-SLR securities.
Rating migration of the issuers/ issues held in the bank’s books and consequent diminution in the portfolio quality.
Extent of non-performing investments in the non-SLR category.
1.2.20 In order to help in the creation of a central database on private placement of debt, a copy of all offer documents should be filed with a credit information company, which has obtained Certificate of Registration from the Reserve Bank and of which the bank is a member, by the investing banks. Further, any default relating to interest/ installment in respect of any privately placed debt should also be reported to a credit information company, which has obtained Certificate of Registration from the Reserve Bank and of which the bank is a member, by the investing banks along with a copy of the offer document.
1.2.21 Banks should disclose the details of the issuer composition of non-SLR investments and the non-performing non-SLR investments in the ‘Notes on Accounts’ of the balance sheet, as indicated in Annex IV.
1.2.22 Trading and Settlement in Corporate Debt Securities
As per the SEBI guidelines, all trades with the exception of the spot transactions, in a listed debt security, shall be executed only on the trading platform of a stock exchange. In addition to complying with the SEBI guidelines, banks should report their secondary market OTC trades in Corporate Bonds within 15 minutes of the trade on any of the stock exchanges (NSE, BSE and MCX-SX).
All OTC trades in corporate bonds shall necessarily be cleared and settled through the National Securities Clearing Corporation Ltd. (NSCCL) or Indian Clearing Corporation Ltd. (ICCL)or MCX-SX Clearing Corporation Ltd. (MCX-SX CCL) as per the norms specified by the NSCCL,ICCL and MCX-SX CCL from time to time.
1.2.23 Repo in Corporate Debt Securities
Eligible entities as per detailed guidelines given in Annex I-E can undertake repo in corporate debt securities which are rated ‘AA’ or above (or such other equivalent rating for instruments of maturity below one year)by the rating agencies, that are held in the security account of the repo seller, in demat form.
1.2.24 OTC transactions in Securitized Debt Instruments
Banks should report their secondary market OTC trades in securitized debt instruments within 15 minutes of the trade on any of the stock exchanges (NSE, BSE and MCX-SX).
These trades may be cleared and settled through any of the clearing corporations (NSCCL, ICCL and MCX-SX CCL).
1.2.25. Settlement of OTC Transactions - in Certificates of Deposit (CDs) and Commercial Papers (CPs)
Banks shall report their OTC transactions in CDs and CPs on F-TRAC platform managed by Clearcorp Dealing System (India) Ltd. (CDSIL) within 15 minutes of the trade for online dissemination of market information.
Further, all OTC trades in CDs and CPs shall necessarily be cleared and settled through the National Securities Clearing Corporation Limited (NSCCL) or Indian Clearing Corporation Limited (ICCL) or MCX-SX Clearing Corporation Limited (MCX-SX CCL) as per the norms specified by NSCCL , ICCL and CCL from time to time.
1.2.26 Limits on Banks' Exposure to Capital Markets
A. Solo Basis
The aggregate exposure of a bank to the capital markets in all forms (both fund based and non-fund based) should not exceed 40 per cent of its net worth as on March 31 of the previous year. Within this overall ceiling, the bank’s direct investment in shares, convertible bonds/ debentures, units of equity-oriented mutual funds and all exposures to Venture Capital Funds (VCFs) [both registered and unregistered] should not exceed 20 per cent of its net worth.
B. Consolidated Basis
The aggregate exposure of a consolidated bank to capital markets (both fund based and non- fund based) should not exceed 40 per cent of its consolidated net worth as on March 31 of the previous year. Within this overall ceiling, the aggregate direct exposure by way of the consolidated bank’s investment in shares, convertible bonds / debentures, units of equity- oriented mutual funds and all exposures to VCFs ([both registered and unregistered)] should not exceed 20 per cent of its consolidated net worth.
The above-mentioned ceilings are the maximum permissible and a bank’s Board of Directors is free to adopt a lower ceiling for the bank, keeping in view its overall risk profile and corporate strategy. Banks are required to adhere to the ceilings on an ongoing basis.
1.3.1 Reconciliation of holdings of Government Securities – Audit Certificate
Banks should furnish a ‘Statement of the Reconciliation of Bank's Investments (held in own Investment account, as also under PMS)’, as at the end of every accounting year duly certified by the bank's auditors. The statement should reach the Regional Office of the DBS, RBI, under whose jurisdiction the bank’s head office is located within one month from the close of the accounting year. Banks in the letters of appointment, issued to their external auditors, may suitably include the aforementioned requirement of reconciliation. The format for the statement and the instructions for compiling the same are given in Annex V.
1.3.2 Transactions in securities - Custodial functions
While exercising the custodial functions on behalf of their merchant banking subsidiaries, these functions should be subject to the same procedures and safeguards as would be applicable to other constituents. Accordingly, full particulars should be available with the subsidiaries of banks of the manner in which the transactions have been executed. Banks should also issue suitable instructions in this regard to the department/office undertaking the custodial functions on behalf of their subsidiaries.
1.3.3 Portfolio Management on behalf of clients
The general powers vested in banks to operate PMS and similar schemes have been withdrawn. No bank should, therefore, restart or introduce any new PMS or similar scheme in future without obtaining specific prior approval of the Reserve Bank. However, bank-sponsored NBFCs are allowed to offer discretionary PMS to their clients, on a case-to-case basis. Applications in this regard should be submitted to the Department of Banking Operations and Development (DBOD), RBI, Central Office, Fort, Mumbai – 400 001.
ii) The following conditions are to be strictly observed by the banks operating PMS or similar scheme with the specific prior approval of the Reserve Bank:
PMS should be entirely at the customer's risk, without guaranteeing, either directly or indirectly, a pre-determined return.
Funds should not be accepted for portfolio management for a period less than one year.
Portfolio funds should not be deployed for lending in call/notice money; interbank term deposits and bills rediscounting markets and lending to/placement with corporate bodies.
Banks should maintain client wise account/record of funds accepted for management and investments made there against and the portfolio clients should be entitled to get a statement of account.
Bank's own investments and investments belonging to PMS clients should be kept distinct from each other, and any transactions between the bank's investment account and client's portfolio account should be strictly at market rates.
There should be a clear functional separation of trading and back office functions relating to banks’ own investment accounts and PMS clients' accounts.
iii) PMS clients' accounts should be subjected by banks to a separate audit by external auditors as covered in paragraph 1.1.5 (a).
iv) Banks should note that violation of the Reserve Bank instructions will be viewed seriously and will invite deterrent action against the banks, which will include raising of reserve requirements, withdrawal of facility of refinance from the Reserve Bankand denial of access to money markets, apart from prohibition from undertaking PMS activity.
v) Further, the aforesaid instructions will apply, mutatis mutandis, to the subsidiaries of banks except where they are contrary to specific regulations of the Reserve Bankor SEBI, governing their operations.
vi) Banks/merchant banking subsidiaries of banks operating PMS or similar scheme with the specific prior approval of the Reserve Bank are also required to comply with the guidelines contained in the SEBI (Portfolio Managers) Rules and Regulations, 1993 and those issued from time to time.
1.3.4 Investment Portfolio of banks - transactions in Government Securities
In the light of fraudulent transactions in the guise of Government Securities transactions in physical format by a few co-operative banks with the help of some broker entities, it has been decided to accelerate the measures for further reducing the scope of trading in physical forms. These measures are as under:
For banks, which do not have SGL account with the Reserve Bank, only one gilt account can be opened.
In case the gilt accounts are opened with a SCB, the account holder has to open a designated funds account (for all gilt account related transactions) with the same bank.
The entities maintaining the gilt / designated funds accounts will be required to ensure availability of clear funds in the designated funds accounts for purchases and of sufficient securities in the gilt account for sales before putting through the transactions.
No transactions by the bank should be undertaken in physical form with any broker.
Banks should ensure that brokers approved for transacting in Government Securities are registered with the debt market segment of NSE/BSE/OTCEI.
i) The entire investment portfolio of the banks (including SLR securities and non-SLR securities) should be classified under three categories
viz. ‘Held to Maturity’, ‘Available for Sale’ and ‘Held for Trading’.
• However, in the balance sheet, the investments will continue to be disclosed as per the existing six classifications:
viz. a) Government securities,
Other approved securities,
Debentures & Bonds,
Subsidiaries/ joint ventures and
Others (CP, Mutual Fund Units, etc.).
ii) Banks should decide the category of the investment at the time of acquisition and the decision should be recorded on the investment proposals.
2.1 Held to Maturity
The securities acquired by the banks with the intention to hold them up to maturity will be classified under ‘Held to Maturity (HTM)’.
Banks are allowed to include investments included under HTM category upto 25 per cent of their total investments.
The following investments are required to be classified under HTM but are not accounted for the purpose of ceiling of 25 per cent specified for this category:
Re-capitalisation bonds received from the Government of India towards their re- capitalisation requirement and held in their investment portfolio. This will not include re-capitalisation bonds of other banks acquired for investment purposes.
Investment in subsidiaries and joint ventures (a Joint Venture would be one in which the bank, along with its subsidiaries, holds more than 25 percent of the equity).
Investment in the long-term bonds (with a minimum residual maturity of seven years) issued by companies engaged in infrastructure activities. The minimum residual maturity of seven years should be at the time of investment in these bonds. Once invested, banks may continue to classify these investments under HTM category even if the residual maturity falls below seven years subsequently.
iii) Banks are permitted to exceed the limit of 25 per cent of total investment under HTM category provided:
the excess comprises only of SLR securities, and
the total SLR securities held in the HTM category is not more than 24.50 per cent of their Demand and Time Liabilities (DTL) as on the last Friday of the second preceding fortnight.
iv) The non-SLR securities, held as part of HTM as on September 2, 2004 may remain in that category. No fresh non-SLR securities, are permitted to be included in HTM, except the following:
Fresh re-capitalisation bonds received from the Government of India, towards their re-capitalisation requirement and held in their investment portfolio. This will not include re-capitalisation bonds of other banks acquired for investment purposes.
Fresh investment in the equity of subsidiaries and joint ventures.
RIDF / SIDBI/RHDF deposits.
Investment in long-term bonds (with a minimum residual maturity ofseven years) issued by companies engaged in infrastructure activities.
V) To sum up, banks may hold the following securities under HTM:
(a) SLR Securities upto 25 percent of their DTL as on the last Friday of the second preceding fortnight.
(b) Non-SLR securities included under HTM as on September 2, 2004.
(c) Fresh re-capitalisation bonds received from the Government of India towards their re-capitalisation requirement and held in Investment portfolio.
(d) Fresh investment in the equity of subsidiaries and joint ventures.
(e) RIDF/SIDBI/RHDF deposits.
(f) Investment in long-term bonds (with a minimum residual maturity of seven years) issued by companies engaged in infrastructure activities.
(vi) Profit on sale of investments in this category should be first taken to the Profit & Loss Account, and thereafter be appropriated to the ‘Capital Reserve Account’. It is clarified that the amount so appropriated would be net of taxes and the amount required to be transferred to Statutory Reserves. Loss on sale will be recognised in the Profit & Loss Account.
2.2 Available for Sale & Held for Trading
The securities acquired by the banks with the intention to trade by taking advantage of the short-term price/interest rate movements will be classified under ‘Held for Trading (HFT)’.
The securities which do not fall within the above two categories will be classified under ‘Available for Sale (AFS)’.
The banks will have the freedom to decide on the extent of holdings under HFT and AFS. This will be decided by them after considering various aspects such as basis of intent, trading strategies, risk management capabilities, tax planning, manpower skills, capital position.
The investments classified under HFT would be those from which the bank expects to make a gain by the movement in interest rates/market rates. These securities are to be sold within 90 days.
Profit or loss on sale of investments in both the categories will be taken to the Profit & Loss Account.
2.3 Shifting among categories
Banks may shift investments to/from HTM with the approval of the Board of Directors once a year. Such shifting will normally be allowed at the beginning of the accounting year. No further shifting to/from HTM will be allowed during the remaining part of that accounting year.
If the value of sales and transfers of securities to/from HTM category exceeds 5 per cent of the book value of investments held in HTM category at the beginning of the year, banks should disclose the market value of the investments held in the HTM category and indicate the excess of book value over market value for which provision is not made. This disclosure is required to be made in ‘Notes to Accounts’ in banks’ audited Annual Financial Statements. However, the one-time transfer of securities to/from HTM category with the approval of Board of Directors permitted to be undertaken by banks at the beginning of the accounting year and sales to the Reserve Bank of India under pre-announced OMO auctions and repurchase of Government securities by Government of India from banks will be excluded from the 5 per cent cap.
Banks may shift investments from AFS to HFT with the approval of their Board of Directors/ ALCO/ Investment Committee. In case of exigencies, such shifting may be done with the approval of the Chief Executive of the bank/Head of the ALCO, but should be ratified by the Board of Directors/ ALCO.
Shifting of investments from HFT to AFS is generally not allowed. However, it will be permitted only under exceptional circumstances like not being able to sell the security within 90 days due to tight liquidity conditions, or extreme volatility, or market becoming unidirectional. Such transfer is permitted only with the approval of the Board of Directors/ ALCO/ Investment Committee.
Transfer of scrips from AFS / HFT category to HTM category should be made at the lower of book value or market value. In other words, in cases where the market value is higher than the book value at the time of transfer, the appreciation should be ignored and the security should be transferred at the book value. In cases where the market value is less than the book value, the provision against depreciation held against this security (including the additional provision, if any, required based on valuation done on the date of transfer) should be adjusted to reduce the book value to the market value and the security should be transferred at the market value.
In the case of transfer of securities from HTM to AFS / HFT category,
If the security was originally placed under the HTM category at a discount, it may be transferred to AFS / HFT category at the acquisition price / book value. (It may be noted that as per existing instructions banks are not allowed to accrue the discount on the securities held under HTM category and, therefore, such securities would continue to be held at the acquisition cost till maturity). After transfer, these securities should be immediately re-valued and resultant depreciation, if any, may be provided.
If the security was originally placed in the HTM category at a premium, it may be transferred to the AFS / HFT category at the amortised cost. After transfer, these securities should be immediately re-valued and resultant depreciation, if any, may be provided.
In the case of transfer of securities from AFS to HFT category or vice-versa, the securities need not be re-valued on the date of transfer and the provisions for the accumulated depreciation, if any, held may be transferred to the provisions for depreciation against the HFT securities and vice-versa.
3.1 Held to Maturity
Investments classified under HTM need not be marked to market and will be carried at acquisition cost, unless it is more than the face value, in which case the premium should be amortised over the period remaining to maturity. The banks should reflect the amortised amount in ‘Schedule 13 – Interest Earned: Item II – Income on Investments’, as a deduction. However, the deduction need not be disclosed separately. The book value of the security should continue to be reduced to the extent of the amount amortised during the relevant accounting period.
Banks should recognise any diminution, other than temporary, in the value of their investments in subsidiaries/ joint ventures, which are included under HTM and provide therefor. Such diminution should be determined and provided for each investment individually.
The need to determine whether impairment has occurred is a continuous process and the need for such determination will arise in the following circumstances:
(a) On the happening of an event which suggests that impairment has occurred. This would include:
(i) the company has defaulted in repayment of its debt obligations. (ii) the loan amount of the company with any bank has been restructured. (iii) the credit rating of the company has been downgraded to below investment grade.
(b) When the company has incurred losses for a continuous period of three years and the net worth has consequently been reduced by 25% or more.
(c) In the case of new company or a new project when the originally projected date of achieving the breakeven point has been extended i.e., the company or the project has not achieved break-even within the gestation period as originally envisaged.
When the need to determine whether impairment has occurred arises in respect of a subsidiary, joint venture or a material investment, the bank should obtain a valuation of the investment by a reputed/qualified valuer and make provision for the impairment, if any.
3.2 Available for Sale
The individual scrips in the Available for Sale category will be marked to market at quarterly or at more frequent intervals. Domestic Securities under this category shall be valued scrip-wise and depreciation/ appreciation shall be aggregated for each classification referred to in item 2(i) above. Foreign investments under this category shall be valued scrip-wise and depreciation/ appreciation shall be aggregated for five classifications (viz. Government securities (including local authorities), Shares, Debentures & Bonds, Subsidiaries and/or joint ventures abroad and Other investments (to be specified)). Further, the investment in a particular classification, both in domestic and foreign securities, may be aggregated for the purpose of arriving at net depreciation/appreciation of investments under that category.Net depreciation, if any, shall be provided for. Net appreciation, if any, should be ignored. Net depreciation required to be provided for in any one classification should not be reduced on account of net appreciation in any other classification. The banks may continue to report the foreign securities under three categories (Government securities (including local authorities), Subsidiaries and/or joint ventures abroad and other investments (to be specified)) in the balance sheet. The book value of the individual securities would not undergo any change after the marking of market.
3.3 Held for Trading
The individual scrips in the Held for Trading category will be marked to market at monthly or at more frequent intervals and provided for as in the case of those in the Available for Sale category. Consequently, the book value of the individual securities in this category would also not undergo any change after marking to market.
(i) With a view to building up of adequate reserves to guard against any possiblereversal of interest rate environment in future due to unexpected developments, banks were advised to build up Investment Fluctuation Reserve (IFR) of a minimum 5 per cent of the investment portfolio within a period of 5 years.
(ii) To ensure smooth transition to Basel II norms, banks were advised in June 24,2004 to maintain capital charge for market risk in a phased manner over a two year period, as under:
In respect of securities included in the HFT category, open gold position limit, open foreign exchange position limit, trading positions in derivatives and derivatives entered into for hedging trading book exposures by March 31, 2005, and
In respect of securities included in the AFS category by March 31, 2006.
(iii) With a view to encourage banks for early compliance with the guidelines for maintenance of capital charge for market risks, it was advised in April 2005 that banks which have maintained capital of at least 9 per cent of the risk weighted assets for both credit risk and market risk for both HFT (items as indicated at (a) above) and AFS categories may treat the balance in excess of 5 per cent of securities included under HFT and AFS categories, in the IFR, as Tier I capital. Banks satisfying the above were allowed to transfer the amount in excess of the said 5 per cent in the IFR to Statutory Reserve.
(iv) Banks were advised in October 2005 that, if they have maintained capital of at least 9 per cent of the risk weighted assets for both credit risk and market risks forbothHFT (items as indicated at 3.4 ii(a) above) and AFS category as on March 31, 2006, they would be permitted to treat the entire balance in the IFR as Tier I capital. For this purpose, banks may transfer the balance in the IFR ‘below the line’ in the Profit and Loss Appropriation Account to Statutory Reserve, General Reserve or balance of Profit & Loss (P&L) Account.
Investment Reserve Account (IRA)
(v) In the event, provisions created on account of depreciation in the ‘AFS’ or ‘HFT’ categories are found to be in excess of the required amount in any year, the excess should be credited to the P&L Account and an equivalent amount (net of taxes, if any and net of transfer to Statutory Reserves as applicable to such excess provision) should be appropriated to an IRA Account in Schedule 2 – “Reserves & Surplus” under the head “Revenue and Other Reserves”, and would be eligible for inclusion under Tier-II within the overall ceiling of 1.25 per cent of total Risk Weighted Assets prescribed for General Provisions/ Loss Reserves.
(vi) Banks may utilise IRA as follows:
The provisions required to be created on account of depreciation in the AFS and HFT categories should be debited to the P&L Account and an equivalent amount (net of tax benefit, if any, and net of consequent reduction in the transfer to Statutory Reserve), may be transferred from the IRA to the P&L Account.
Illustratively, banks may draw down from the IRA to the extent of provision made during the year towards depreciation in investment in AFS and HFT categories (net of taxes, if any, and net of transfer to Statutory Reserves as applicable to such excess provision). In other words, a bank which pays a tax of 30 per cent and should appropriate 25 per cent of the net profits to Statutory Reserves, can draw down Rs.52.50 from the IRA, if the provision made for depreciation in investments included in the AFS and HFT categories is Rs.100.
(vii) The amounts debited to the P&L Account for provision should be debited under the head ‘Expenditure - Provisions & Contingencies’. The amount transferred from the IRA to the P&L Account, should be shown as ‘below the line’ item in the Profit and Loss Appropriation Account, after determining the profit for the year. Provision towards any erosion in the value of an asset is an item of charge on the profit and loss account, and hence should appear in that account before arriving at the profit for the accounting period. Adoption of the following would not only be adoption of a wrong accounting principle but would, also result in a wrong statement of the profit for the accounting period:
the provision is allowed to be adjusted directly against an item of Reserve without being shown in the profit and loss account, OR
a bank is allowed to draw down from the IRA before arriving at the profit for the accounting period (i.e., above the line), OR
a bank is allowed to make provisions for depreciation on investment as a below the line item, after arriving at the profit for the period,
Hence none of the above options are permissible.
(viii) In terms of our guidelines on payment of dividend by banks, dividends should be payable only out of current year's profit. The amount drawn down from the IRA will, therefore, not be available to a bank for payment of dividend among the shareholders. However, the balance in the IRA transferred ‘below the line’ in the Profit and Loss Appropriation Account to Statutory Reserve, General Reserve or balance of P&L Account would be eligible to be reckoned as Tier I capital.
3.5 Market value
The ‘market value’ for the purpose of periodical valuation of investments included in the AFS and HFT categories would be the market price of the scrip as available from the trades/ quotes on the stock exchanges, SGL account transactions, price list of RBI, prices declared by Primary Dealers Association of India (PDAI) jointly with the Fixed Income Money Market and Derivatives Association of India (FIMMDA) periodically. In respect of unquoted securities, the procedure as detailed below should be adopted.
3.6 Unquoted SLR securities
3.6.1 Central Government Securities
Banks should value the unquoted Central Government securities on the basis of the prices/ YTM rates put out by the PDAI/ FIMMDA at periodical intervals.
The 6.00 per cent Capital Indexed Bonds may be valued at “cost”, as defined in circular DBOD.No.BC.8/12.02.001/97-98 dated January 22, 1998 and BC.18/12.02.001/2000-2001 dated August 16, 2000.
Treasury Bills should be valued at carrying cost.
3.6.2 State Government Securities
State Government securities will be valued applying the Yield to Maturity (YTM) method by marking it up by 25 basis points above the yields of the Central Government Securities of equivalent maturity put out by PDAI/ FIMMDA periodically.
3.6.3 Other ‘approved’ Securities
Other approved securities will be valued applying the YTM method by marking it up by 25 basis points above the yields of the Central Government Securities of equivalent maturity put out by PDAI/ FIMMDA periodically.
3.7 Unquoted Non-SLR securities
3.7.1 Debentures/ Bonds
All debentures/ bonds should be valued on the YTM basis. Such debentures/ bonds may be of different companies having different ratings. These will be valued with appropriate mark-up over the YTM rates for Central Government Securities as put out by PDAI/ FIMMDA periodically. The mark-up will be graded according to the ratings assigned to the debentures/ bonds by the rating agencies subject to the following: -
(a) The rate used for the YTM for rated debentures/ bonds should be at least 50 basis points above the rate applicable to a Government of India loan of equivalent maturity.
The special securities, which are directly issued by Government of India to the beneficiary entities, which do not carry SLR status, may be valued at a spread of 25 basis points above the corresponding yield on Government of India Securities, with effect from the financial year 2008 - 09. At present, such special securities comprise Oil Bonds, Fertilizer Bonds, bonds issued to the State Bank of India (during the recent rights issue), Unit Trust of India, Industrial Finance Corporation of India Ltd., Food Corporation of India, Industrial Investment Bank of India Ltd., the erstwhile Industrial Development Bank of India and the erstwhile Shipping Development Finance Corporation.
(b) The rate used for the YTM for unrated debentures/ bonds should not be less than the rate applicable to rated debentures/ bonds of equivalent maturity. The mark-up for the unrated debentures/ bonds should appropriately reflect the credit risk borne by the bank.
(c) Where the debentures/ bondsare quoted and there have been transactions within 15 days prior to the valuation date, the value adopted should not be higher than the rate at which the transaction is recorded on the stock exchange.
3.7.2 Bonds issued by State Distribution Companies (Discoms) under Financial Restructuring Plan
(i) If these bonds are traded and quoted, they will be valued at their current ‘Market Value’ as defined in paragraph 3.5 of this Master Circular.
(ii) In case the bonds are not traded and quoted, they will be valued on YTM basis. The relevant YTM will be YTM rates for Central Government Securities of equivalent maturities as put out by FIMMDA on the valuation day with the following mark-ups:
(a) During the period when bonds’ liabilities are with the State Discoms and
If guaranteed by respective State Governments – 75 basis points
If not guaranteed by respective State Governments – 100 basis points
(b) During the period when bonds’ liabilities are with the respective State Governments – 50 basis points.
3.7.3 Zero coupon bonds (ZCBs)
ZCBs should be shown in the books at carrying cost, i.e., acquisition cost plus discount accrued at the rate prevailing at the time of acquisition, which may be marked to market with reference to the market value. In the absence of market value, the ZCBs may be marked to market with reference to the present value of the ZCB. The present value of the ZCBs may be calculated by discounting the face value using the ‘Zero Coupon Yield Curve’, with appropriate mark up as per the zero coupon spreads put out by FIMMDA periodically. In case the bank is still carrying the ZCBs at acquisition cost, the discount accrued on the instrument should be notionally added to the book value of the scrip, before marking it to market.
3.7.4 Preference Shares
The valuation of preference shares should be on YTM basis. The preference shares will be issued by companies with different ratings. These will be valued with appropriate mark-up over the YTM rates for Central Government Securities put out by the PDAI/FIMMDA periodically. The mark-up will be graded according to the ratings assigned to the preference shares by the rating agencies subject to the following:
The YTM rate should not be lower than the coupon rate/ YTM for a GoI loan of equivalent maturity.
The rate used for the YTM for unrated preference shares should not be less than the rate applicable to rated preference shares of equivalent maturity. The mark-up for the unrated preference shares should appropriately reflect the credit risk borne by the bank.
Investments in preference shares as part of the project finance may be valued at par for a period of two years after commencement of production or five years after subscription whichever is earlier.
Where investment in preference shares is as part of rehabilitation, the YTM rate should not be lower than 1.5% above the coupon rate/ YTM for GoI loan of equivalent maturity.
Where preference dividends are in arrears, no credit should be taken for accrued dividends and the value determined on YTM should be discounted by at least 15 per cent if arrears are for one year, and more if arrears are for more than one year. The depreciation/provision requirement arrived at in the above manner in respect of nonperforming shares where dividends are in arrears shall not be allowed to be set-off against appreciation on other performing preference shares.
The preference share should not be valued above its redemption value.
When a preference share has been traded on stock exchange within 15 days prior to the valuation date, the value should not be higher than the price at which the share was traded.
3.7.5 Equity Shares
The equity shares in the bank's portfolio should be marked to market preferably on a daily basis, but at least on a weekly basis. Equity shares for which current quotations are not available or where the shares are not quoted on the stock exchanges, should be valued at break-up value (without considering ‘revaluation reserves’, if any) which is to be ascertained from the company’s latest balance sheet (which should not be more than one year prior to the date of valuation). In case the latest balance sheet is not available the shares are to be valued at Re.1 per company.
3.7.6 Mutual Funds Units (MF Units)
Investment in quoted MF Units should be valued as per Stock Exchange quotations. Investment in un-quoted MF Units is to be valued on the basis of the latest re-purchase price declared by the MF in respect of each particular Scheme. In case of funds with a lock-in period, where repurchase price/ market quote is not available, Units could be valued at Net Asset Value (NAV). If NAV is not available, then these could be valued at cost, till the end of the lock- in period. Wherever the re-purchase price is not available, the Units could be valued at the NAV of the respective scheme.
3.7.7 Commercial Paper
Commercial paper should be valued at the carrying cost.
3.7.8 Investments in Regional Rural Banks (RRBs)
Investment in RRBs is to be valued at carrying cost (i.e. book value) on a consistent basis.
3.8. Investment in securities issued by Securitisation Company (SC) / Reconstruction Company (RC)
When banks / FIs invest in the SRs / Pass-Through Certificates (PTCs) issued by SCs / RCs, in respect of the financial assets sold by them to the SCs / RCs, the sale shall be recognised in books of the banks / FIs at the lower of:
the redemption value of the SRs /PTCs, and
the Net Book Value (NBV) (i.e. Book value less provisions held), of the financial asset.
The above investment should be carried in the books of the bank / FI at the price as determined above until its sale or realisation, and on such sale or realisation, the loss or gain must be dealt with as under:
if the sale to SC /RC is at a price below the NBV, the shortfall should be debited to the P&L Account of that year.
If the sale is for a value higher than the NBV, the excess provision will not be reversed but will be utilised to meet the shortfall / loss on account of sale of other financial assets to SC / RC. All instruments received by banks / FIs from SC / RC as sale consideration for financial assets sold to them and also other instruments issued by SC / RC in which banks / FIs invest will be in the nature of non-SLR securities. Accordingly, the valuation, classification and other norms applicable to investment in non-SLR instruments prescribed by the Reserve Bank from time to time would be applicable to bank’s / FI’s investment in debentures / bonds / security receipts / PTCs issued by SC / RC. However, if any of the above instruments issued by SC / RC is limited to the actual realisation of the financial assets assigned to the instruments in the concerned scheme the bank / FI shall reckon the Net Asset Value (NAV), obtained from SC / RC from time to time, for valuation of such investments.
3.9 Valuation and classification of banks’ investment in VCFs
3.9.1 The quoted equity shares / bonds/ units of VCFs in the bank's portfolio should be held under AFS and marked to market preferably on a daily basis, but at least on a weekly basis, in line with valuation norms for other equity shares as per existing instructions.
3.9.2 Banks’ investments in unquoted shares/bonds/units of VCFs made after August 23, 2006 (i.e., issuance of guidelines on valuation, classification of investments in VCFs) will be classified under HTM for initial period of three years and will be valued at cost during this period. For the investments made before issuance of these guidelines, the classification would be done as per the existing norms.
3.9.3 For this purpose, the period of three years will be reckoned separately for each disbursement made by the bank to VCF as and when the committed capital is called up. However, to ensure conformity with the existing norms for transferring securities from HTM, transfer of all securities which have completed three years as mentioned above will be effectedat the beginning of the next accounting year in one lot to coincide with the annual transfer of investments from HTM category.
3.9.4 After three years, the unquoted units/shares/bonds should be transferred to AFS category and valued as under:
Units: In the case of investments in the form of units, the valuation will be done at the NAV shown by the VCF in its financial statements. Depreciation, if any, on the units based on NAV has to be provided at the time of shifting the investments to AFS category from HTM category as also on subsequent valuations which should be done at quarterly or more frequent intervals based on the financial statements received from the VCF. At least once in a year, the units should be valued based on the audited results. However, if the audited balance sheet/ financial statements showing NAV figures are not available continuously for more than 18 months as on the date of valuation, the investments are to be valued at Rupee 1per VCF.
Equity: In the case of investments in the form of shares, the valuation can be done at the required frequency based on the break-up value (without considering ‘revaluation reserves’, if any) which is to be ascertained from the company’s (VCF’s) latest balance sheet (which should not be more than 18 months prior to the date of valuation).Depreciation, if any on the shares has to be provided at the time of shifting the investments to AFS category as also on subsequent valuations which should be done at quarterly or more frequent intervals. If the latest balance sheet available is more than 18 months old, the shares are to be valued at Rupee 1per company.
Bonds: The investment in the bonds of VCFs, if any, should be valued as per prudential norms for classification, valuation and operation of investment portfolio by banks issued by the Reserve Bank from time to time.
3.9.5 Valuation norms on conversion of outstanding
Equity, debentures and other financial instruments acquired by way of conversion of outstanding principal and / or interest should be classified in the AFS category, and valued in accordance with the extant instructions on valuation of banks' investment portfolio, except to the extent that (a) equity may be valued as per market value, if quoted, (b) in cases, where equity is not quoted, valuation may be at breakup value in respect of standard assets and in respect of substandard / doubtful assets, equity may be initially valued at Rupee1 and at breakup value after restoration / up gradation to standard category.
3.10 Non-Performing Investments (NPI)
3.10.1 In respect of securities included in any of the three categories where interest/ principal is in arrears, banks should not reckon income on the securities and should also make appropriate provisions for the depreciation in the value of the investment. The banks should not set-off the depreciation requirement in respect of these non-performing securities against the appreciation in respect of other performing securities.
3.10.2 An NPI, similar to a non performing advance (NPA), is one where:
Interest/ installment (including maturity proceeds) is due and remains unpaid for more than 90 days.
The above would apply mutatis-mutandis to preference shares where the fixed dividend is not paid. If the dividend on preference shares (cumulative or non-cumulative) is not declared/paid in any year it would be treated as due/unpaid in arrears and the date of balance sheet of the issuer for that particular year would be reckoned as due date for the purpose of asset classification.
In the case of equity shares, in the event the investment in the shares of any company is valued at Re.1 per company on account of the non-availability of the latest balance sheet in accordance with the instructions contained in paragraph 28 of the Annex to the circular DBOD.BP.BC.32/ 21.04.048/ 2000-01 dated October 16, 2000, those equity shares would also be reckoned as NPI.
If any credit facility availed by the issuer is NPA in the books of the bank, investment in any of the securities, including preference shares issued by the same issuer would also be treated as NPI and vice versa. However, if only the preference shares are classified as NPI, the investment in any of the other performing securities issued by the same issuer may not be classified as NPI and any performing credit facilities granted to that borrower need not be treated as NPA.
The investments in debentures/bonds, which are deemed to be in the nature of advance, would also be subjected to NPI norms as applicable to investments.
In case of conversion of principal and/or interest into equity, debentures, bonds, etc., such instruments should be treated as NPA abinitio in the same asset classification category as the loan if the loan's classification is substandard or doubtful on implementation of the restructuring package and provision should be made as per the norms.
3.10.3 State Government guaranteed investments
For the year ending March 31, 2005, investment in State Government guaranteed securities would attract prudential norms for identification of NPI and provisioning, if interest and/or principal or any other amount due to the bank remains overdue for more than 180 days. With effect from the year ending March 31, 2006, investment in State Government guaranteed securities, including those in the nature of ‘deemed advance’, will attract prudential norms for identification of NPI and provisioning, when interest/ instalment of principal (including maturity proceeds) or any other amount due to the bank remains unpaid for more than 90 days.
The prudential treatment for Central Government Guaranteed bonds has to be identical to Central Government guaranteed advances. Hence, bank’s investments in bonds guaranteed by Central Government need not be classified as NPI until the Central Government has repudiated the guarantee when invoked. However, this exemption from classification as NPI is not for the purpose of recognition of income.
4. Uniform accounting for Repo / Reverse Repo transactions
4.1 The revised accounting guidelines effective from April 1, 2010 are applicable to market repo transactions in Government Securities and corporate debt securities. These accounting norms will, however, not apply to repo / reverse repo transactions conducted under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) with the Reserve Bank.
4.2 Market participants may undertake repos from any of the three categories of investments, viz., Held For Trading, Available For Sale and Held To Maturity.
4.3 The economic essence of a repo transaction, viz., borrowing (lending) of funds by selling (purchasing) securities shall be reflected in the books of the repo participants, by accounting the same as collateralized lending and borrowing transaction, with an agreement to repurchase, on the agreed terms. Accordingly, the repo seller, i.e., borrower of funds in the first leg, shall not exclude the securities sold under repo but continue to carry the same in his investment account (please see the illustration given in the Annex) reflecting his continued economic interest in the securities during the repo period. On the other hand, the repo buyer, i.e., lender of funds in the first leg, shall not include the securities purchased under repo in his investment account but show it in a separate sub-head (please see the Annex). The securities would, however, be transferred from the repo seller to repo buyer as in the case of normal outright sale/purchase transactions and such movement of securities shall be reflected using the Repo/Reverse Repo Accounts and contra entries. In the case of repo seller, the Repo Account is credited in the first leg for the securities sold (funds received), while the same is reversed when the securities are repurchased in the second leg. Similarly, in the case of repo buyer, the Reverse Repo Account is debited for the amount of securities purchased (funds lent) and the same is reversed in the second leg when the securities are sold back.
4.4 The first leg of the repo transaction should be contracted at the prevailing market rates. The reversal (second leg) of the transaction shall be such that the difference between the consideration amounts of first and second legs should reflect the repo interest.
4.5 The accounting principles to be followed while accounting for repo / reverse repo transactions are as under:
(i) Coupon /Discount
The repo seller shall continue to accrue the coupon/discount on the securities sold under repo even during the repo period while the repo buyer shall not accrue the same.
In case the interest payment date of the security offered under repo falls within the repo period, the coupons received by the buyer of the security should be passed on to the seller of the security on the date of receipt as the cash consideration payable by the seller in the second leg does not include any intervening cash flows.
(ii) Repo Interest Income / Expenditure
After the second leg of the repo / reverse repo transaction is over, the difference between consideration amounts of the first leg and second leg of the repo shall be reckoned as Repo Interest Income / Expenditure in the books of the repo buyer / seller respectively; and the balance outstanding in the Repo Interest Income / Expenditure account should be transferred to the P&L Account as an income or an expenditure. As regards repo / reverse repo transactions outstanding on the balance sheet date, only the accrued income / expenditure till the balance sheet date should be taken to the P& L account. Any repo income / expenditure for the remaining period should be reckoned for the next accounting period.
(iii) Marking to Market
The repo seller shall continue to mark to market the securities sold under repo transactions as per the investment classification of the security. To illustrate, in case the securities sold by banks under repo transactions are out of the Available for Salecategory, then the mark to market valuation for such securities should be done at least once a quarter. For entities which do not follow any investment classification norms, the valuation for securities sold under repo transactions may be in accordance with the valuation norms followed by them in respect of securities of similar nature.
4.6 Accounting Methodology
The accounting methodology to be followed along with the illustrations is given in Annexes VII-A and VII-B. Participants using more stringent accounting principles may continue using the same principles. Further, to obviate the disputes arising out of repo transactions, the participants should enter into bilateral Master Repo Agreement as per the documentation finalized by FIMMDA. The Master Repo Agreement finalised by FIMMDA is not mandatory for repo transactions in Government Securities settling through a Central Counter Party (CCP) [e.g. (CCIL), having various safeguards like haircut, MTM price, margin, Multilateral netting, closing out, right to set off, settlement guarantee fund/ collaterals, defaults, risk management and dispute resolution/ arbitration etc. However, Master Repo Agreement is mandatory for repo transactions in Corporate Debt Securities, which are settled bilaterally without involving a CCP.
4.7 Classification of Accounts
Banks shall classify the balances in Repo A/c under Schedule 4 under item I (ii) or I (iii) as appropriate. Similarly, the balances in Reverse Repo A/c shall be classified under Schedule 7 under item I (ii) a or I (ii) b as appropriate. The balances in Repo interest expenditure A/c and Reverse Repo interest income A/c shall be classified under Schedule 15 (under item II or III as appropriate) and under Schedule 13 (under item III or IV as appropriate) respectively. The balance sheet classification for other participants shall be governed by the guidelines issued by the respective regulators.
The disclosures as prescribed in Annex VI should be made by banks in the “Notes on Accounts’ to the Balance Sheet.
4.9 Treatment for Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)
(i) Government securities:
The regulatory treatment of market repo transactions in Government securities will continue as hitherto, i.e., the funds borrowed under repo will continue to be exempt from CRR/SLR computation and the security acquired under reverse repo shall continue to be eligible for SLR.
(ii) Corporate debt securities:
In respect of repo transactions in corporate debt securities, as already advised vide IDMD.DOD.05/1 1.08.38/2009-10 dated January 8, 2010,
The amount borrowed by a bank through repo shall be reckoned as part of its Demand and Time Liabilities (DTL) and the same shall attract CRR/SLR.
The borrowings of a bank through repo in corporate bonds shall be reckoned as its liabilities for reserve requirement and, to the extent these liabilities are to the banking system, they shall be netted as per clause (d) of the explanation under section 42(1) of the RBI Act, 1934. Such borrowings shall, however, be subject to the prudential limits for inter-bank liabilities.
5.1 Income recognition
Banks may book income on accrual basis on securities of corporate bodies/ public sector undertakings in respect of which the payment of interest and repayment of principal have been guaranteed by the Central Government or a State Government, provided interest is serviced regularly and as such is not in arrears.
Banks may book income from dividend on shares of corporate bodies on accrual basis provided dividend on the shares has been declared by the corporate body in its Annual General Meeting and the owner's right to receive payment is established.
Banks may book income from Government Securities and bonds and debentures of corporate bodies on accrual basis, where interest rates on these instruments are predetermined and provided interest is serviced regularly and is not in arrears.
Banks may book income from units of mutual funds on cash basis.
5.2 Broken Period Interest
Banks should not capitalise the Broken Period Interest paid to seller as part of cost, but treat it as an item of expenditure under P&L Account in respect of investments in Government and other approved securities. It is to be noted that the above accounting treatment does not take into account the tax implications and, hence, the banks should comply with the requirements of Income Tax Authorities in the manner prescribed by them.
5.3 Dematerialised Holding
Banks should settle the transactions in securities as notified by SEBI only through depositories. After the commencement of mandatory trading in dematerialised form, banks would not be able to sell the shares of listed companies if they were held in physical form. In order to extend the dematerialised form of holding to other instruments like bonds, debentures and equities, it was decided that, with effect from October 31, 2001, banks, FIs, PDs and SDs would be permitted to make fresh investments and hold bonds and debentures, privately placed or otherwise, only in dematerialised form. Outstanding investments in scrip forms were required to be converted into dematerialised form by June 30, 2002. As regards equity instruments, banks were required to convert all their equity holding in scrip form into dematerialised form by December 31, 2004.
5.4 Investment in Zero Coupon Bonds and Low Coupon Bonds issued by corporates
In view of high credit risk involved in long term Zero Coupon Bonds (ZCBs) issued by corporates (including those issued by NBFCs) banks should not invest in such ZCBs unless the issuer builds up sinking fund for all accrued interest and keeps it invested in liquid investments/securities (Government bonds). It had come to our notice that banks are investing in bonds which carry very low coupons that are not market related and therefore are redeemed at maturity with substantial premium. These bonds, therefore, carry credit risk similar to ZCBs. Banks should not invest in such Low Coupon Bonds unless the issuer builds up a sinking fund to the extent of the difference in the accrued interest calculated on the basis of YTM applicable to the bond and the actual coupon payable on the bond and keeps it invested in liquid investments/ securities (Government bonds). Further, banks should also put in place conservative limits for their investments in such bonds.
List of Circulars consolidated by the Master Circular
DBOD.No.FSC.BC.69/C.469 - 90/91
Jan 18, 1991
Portfolio Management on behalf of clients
DO.DBOD.No.FSC.46/C.469 - 91/92
July 26, 1991
Investment portfolio of banks-Transaction in securities
June 20, 1992
Investment portfolio of banks-Transaction in securities
DBOD.No.FSC.BC. 11/24.01.009/ 92-93
July 30, 1992
Portfolio Management on behalf of clients
Aug 19, 1992
Investment portfolio of banks-Transaction in securities
Dec 31, 1992
Investment portfolio of banks-Transaction in securities
April 15, 1993
Investment portfolio of banks-Reconciliation of holdings
July 19, 1993
Investment portfolio of banks – Transaction insecurities – Aggregate contract limit for individual brokers - Clarifications
Jan 10, 1994
Investment portfolio of banks – Transaction insecurities – Bouncing of SGL transfer forms – Penalties to be imposed.
June 7, 1994
Acceptance of deposits under Portfolio Management Scheme
Nov 15, 1994
Investment portfolio of banks-Transaction insecurities – Bank Receipts (BRs)
Nov 16, 1994
Investment portfolio of banks-Transaction insecurities – Role of brokers
Dec 9, 1994
April 3, 1995
Investment Portfolio of Banks - Transaction in Securities
June 8, 1996
Retailing of Government Securities
June 11, 1996
Investment portfolio of banks - Transaction insecurities
Nov 29, 1996
Jan 29, 1997
Prudential norms-capital adequacy, income recognition, asset classification and provisioning.
April 12, 1997
Oct 22, 1997
Oct 14, 1997
Investment portfolio of banks-Transaction in securities – Role of brokers
Aug 4, 1998
Acquisition of Government and other approved securities- Broken Period Interest,- Accounting Procedure
July 7, 1999
Investment portfolio of banks–Transactions in securities