Today (April 27, 2020) Reserve Bank of India announced ₹50,000 crores of special liquidity facility for mutual funds. This was in view of liquidity constraints faced by the Mutual Funds intensified in the wake of large redemptions and high exposure to low-rated illiquid debt securities. The move follows in a bid to support mutual funds restoring confidence among mutual funds investors. Last week Franklin Templeton took a decision to wind up six of its debt funds. With the Franklin move threatening to snowball into an industry-wide issue leading to massive redemptions from other debt funds, the RBI has sought to abate concerns with its special liquidity facility for mutual funds (SLF-MF). The Central Bank’s communication said it remains vigilant and will take whatever steps are necessary to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 and preserve financial stability.
Under the SLF-MF, the RBI will conduct repo operations of 90 days at the fixed repo rate of 4.4 per cent. Funds availed under the SLF-MF shall be used by banks exclusively deployed for meeting the liquidity requirements of MFs for extending loans, and undertaking outright purchase of and/or repos against the collateral of investment grade corporate bonds, commercial papers (CPs), debentures and certificates of Deposit (CDs) held by MFs.
According to RBI’s press release, the liquidity support availed under the SLF-MF would be eligible to be classified as held to maturity (HTM) even in excess of 25 per cent of total investment permitted to be included in the HTM portfolio. Further, the exposures under this facility will not be reckoned under the Large Exposure Framework (LEF) it said. Moreover, the face value of securities acquired under the SLF-MF and kept in the HTM category will not be reckoned for computation of adjusted non-food bank credit (ANBC) for the purpose of determining priority sector targets/sub-targets. Support extended to MFs under the SLF-MF shall be exempted from banks’ capital market exposure limits, the statement said.