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Mortgage guarantee companies allowed to commence business in India

Mortgage Guarantee Company (Reserve Bank) Guidelines, 2008' notified on 15th February 2008 allows mortgage guarantee company to commence the business of providing mortgage guarantee in India after -

(a) obtaining a certificate of registration from the Reserve Bank of India; and

(b) having a net owned fund of one hundred crore rupees or such other higher amount, as the Reserve Bank of India may, by notification, specify.

The Reserve Bank of India, for the purpose of considering the application for registration, shall require to be satisfied that the following conditions are fulfilled:-

(a) that the mortgage guarantee company shall primarily transact the business of providing mortgage guarantee. A mortgage guarantee company shall be deemed to comply with the above when at least 90% of the business turnover is mortgage guarantee business or at least 90% of the gross income is from mortgage guarantee business (which includes the income derived from reinvesting the income generated from mortgage guarantee business);

(b) that the mortgage guarantee company is or shall be in a position to pay its liabilities arising from the contracts of guarantee it may enter into;

(c) that the mortgage guarantee company has adequate capital structure as stipulated in paragraphs 11 to 13 below and adequate earning prospects from mortgage guarantee business;

(d) that the general character of the management or the proposed management of the mortgage guarantee company shall not be prejudicial to the public interest;

(e) that the Board of Directors of such mortgage guarantee company does not consist of more than half of its total number of directors who are either nominees of any shareholder with substantial interest or associated in any manner with the shareholder with substantial interest or any of the subsidiaries of the shareholder with substantial interest if such a shareholder is a company;

(f) (i) Mortgage guarantee company shall have a well diversified shareholding; (ii) Mortgage guarantee company shall not be a subsidiary of any other company including a company registered or incorporated under any law in force outside India;

(iii) No individual, association or body of individuals whether incorporated or not, partnership firm, company or company registered or incorporated under any law in force outside India shall, directly or indirectly, have any controlling interest in mortgage guarantee company;"

(g) the Foreign Direct Investment to be eligible for investment in the equity of a mortgage guarantee company should have prior approval of FIPB. If the foreign entity which has received FIPB / FED approval is having substantial interest in the applicant mortgage guarantee company, it should be regulated by a home country financial regulator and should itself preferably be a mortgage guarantee company and have a good track record of operating as a mortgage guarantee company. However, the above clauses would not be applicable if the investor in the equity of a mortgage guarantee company is international financial institution;

(h) that the public interest shall be served by the grant of certificate of registration to the mortgage guarantee company to commence or to carry on the business in India;

(i) that the grant of certificate of registration shall not be prejudicial to the operation and growth of the housing finance sector of the country;

(j) that the mortgage guarantee company is compliant with the applicable norms for foreign investment in such companies; and

(k) any other condition, fulfillment of which in the opinion of the Reserve Bank of India, shall be necessary to ensure that the commencement of or carrying on the business in India by a mortgage guarantee company shall not be prejudicial to the public interest and the housing finance sector in India.

The mortgage guarantee company shall be under the regulatory and supervisory jurisdiction of the Reserve Bank of India.

However, Mortgage guarantee companies can not accept public deposits. They can also not avail External Commercial Borrowings.

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