India has a diversified financial sector undergoing rapid expansion, both in terms of strong growth of existing financial services firms and new entities entering the market. The sector comprises commercial banks, insurance companies, non-banking financial companies, co-operatives, pension funds, mutual funds and other smaller financial entities. The banking regulator has allowed new entities such as payment banks to be created recently, thereby adding to the type of entities operating in the sector. However, financial sector in India is predominantly a banking sector with commercial banks accounting for more than 64% of the total assets held by the financial system.
The Government of India has introduced several reforms to liberalise, regulate and enhance this industry. The Government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have taken various measures to facilitate easy access to finance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). These measures include launching Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for MSMEs, issuing guideline to banks regarding collateral requirements and setting up a Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA). With a combined push by Government and private sector, India is undoubtedly one of the world's most vibrant capital markets.
As of June 2021, AUM managed by the mutual funds industry stood at Rs. 33.67 trillion (US$ 449.29 billion). In June 2021, the total number of accounts stood at 102.6 million. In May 2021, the mutual fund industry crossed over 10 crore folios. Inflow in India's mutual fund schemes via systematic investment plan (SIP) were Rs. 96,080 crore (US$ 13.12 billion) in FY21. Equity mutual funds registered a net inflow of Rs. 8.04 trillion (US$ 114.06 billion) by end of December 2019.
Another crucial component of India’s financial industry is the insurance industry. Insurance industry has been expanding at a fast pace. The total first year premium of life insurance companies reached Rs. 2.59 lakh crore (US$ 36.73 billion) in FY20.
Furthermore, India’s leading bourse, Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), will set up a joint venture with Ebix Inc to build a robust insurance distribution network in the country through a new distribution exchange platform.
In FY21, US$ 4.25 billion was raised across 55 initial public offerings (IPOs). In FY21, the number of listed companies on the NSE and BSE were 1,920 and 5,542, respectively.
According to the statistics by the Futures Industry Association (FIA), a derivatives trade association, the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. (NSE) emerged as the world’s largest derivatives exchange in 2020 in terms number of contracts traded. NSE was ranked 4th worldwide in cash equities by number of trades as per the statistics maintained by the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) for CY2020.
- Digital payment platforms for rural India:
- In July, Dvara Kshetriya Gramin Financial Services Pvt Ltd., an NBFC operating in remote rural areas of India, acquired ‘TransactNow’ digital platform, an early phase tech start-up that provides digital financial services to India's unbanked and underserved population.
- In August 2021, Neokred, an open banking stack that delivers curated versions of issuance in the payment ecosystem, teamed with Virenxia, a provider of integrated and sustainable solutions for rural transformation and development, to launch the ‘The Kisan Card,' a special payment card for Indian farmers.
- In May 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) granted authorisation to Eroute Technologies to operate as a prepaid payment instruments (PPI) company.
- In February 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cleared the Rs. 34,250 crore (US$ 4.7 billion) acquisition of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL) by the Piramal Group.
- In January 2021, Sundaram Asset Management Company announced the acquisition of Principal Asset Management for Rs. 338.53 crore (US$ 46.78 million).
- In January 2021, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) launched derivatives on the Nifty Financial Service Index. This service index is likely to provide institutions and retail investors more flexibility to manage their finances.
- In November 2020, LIC took initiatives to facilitate quicker proposal completion by launching a digital application – ANANDA.
- In November 2020, Paytm reported 2x growth in digital gold transactions in the last six months. New customers have increased 50% since the beginning of this financial year and the average order value has increased by 60%.
- In November 2020, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced establishment of its Innovation Hub. In order to encourage access to financial services and goods and foster financial inclusion, this initiative would create an ecosystem. The Innovation Hub of the Reserve Bank (RBIH) is intended to promote innovation across the financial sector by leveraging technology and creating a conducive environment for innovation.
- VC investments grew to US$ 3.6 billion in July-September 2020 from US$ 1.5 billion in the previous quarter, powered by the mega deals, which included the US$ 1.3 billion raised by the online retailer—Flipkart.
- On November 6, 2020, WhatsApp started its UPI payment services in India on receiving the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) approval to ‘Go Live’ on UPI in a graded manner.
- In July 2021, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) recorded 3.25 billion transactions worth Rs. 6.06 lakh crore (US$ 81.48 billion).
- The number of transactions through immediate payment service (IMPS) reached 303.76 million (by volume) and amounted to Rs. 2.84 trillion (US$ 38.07 billion) in June 2021.
- In August 2021, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi launched e-RUPI, a person and purpose-specific digital payment solution. e-RUPI is a QR code or SMS string-based e-voucher that is sent to the beneficiary’s cell phone. Users of this one-time payment mechanism will be able to redeem the voucher at the service provider without the usage of a card, digital payments app, or internet banking access.
- In July 2021, Rajya Sabha approved the Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill in 2020, enabling ~9,000 NBFCs to participate in the factoring market. The bill also gives the central bank the authority to establish guidelines for improved oversight of the US$ 6 billion factoring sector.
- In July 2021, India's largest commodities derivatives exchange, Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd., and European Energy Exchange AG (EEX) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the goal of knowledge sharing and expertise exchange on electricity derivative products. This MoU will make it easier for the two exchanges to collaborate in areas including knowledge sharing, education and training, and event planning in the field of electricity derivatives.
- The government has approved 100% FDI for insurance intermediaries and increased FDI limit in the insurance sector to 74% from 49% under the Union Budget 2021-22.
- In January 2021, the Central Board of Direct Taxes launched an automated e-portal on the e-filing website of the department to process and receive complaints of tax evasion, foreign undisclosed assests and register complaints against ‘Benami’ properties.
- In December 2020, the Reserve Bank of India issued a draft circular on declaration of dividends by NBFCs, wherein it proposed that NBFCs should have at least 15% Capital to Risk Weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR) for the last 3 years, including the accounting year for which it proposes to declare a dividend.
- In November 2020, the Union Cabinet approved the government's equity infusion plan for Rs. 6,000 crores (US$ 814.54 million) in the NIIF Debt Platform funded by the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) consisting of Aseem Infrastructure Finance Limited (AIFL) and NIIF Infrastructure Finance Limited (NIIF) (NIIF-IFL).
- In November 2020, two MoUs were signed—one between India International Exchange (India INX) and Luxembourg Stock Exchange and another between State Bank of India and Luxembourg Stock Exchange for cooperation in financial services, ESG (environmental, social and governance) and green finance in the local market.
- On November 11, 2020, The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved continuation and revamping of the scheme for financial support to public-private partnerships (PPPs) in ‘Infrastructure Viability Gap Funding (VGF) Scheme’ until 2024-25 with a total outlay of Rs. 8,100 crore (US$ 1.08 billion).
- India is expected to be the fourth largest private wealth market globally by 2028.
- India is today one of the most vibrant global economies on the back of robust banking and insurance sectors. The relaxation of foreign investment rules has received a positive response from the insurance sector, with many companies announcing plans to increase their stakes in joint ventures with Indian companies. Over the coming quarters, there could be a series of joint venture deals between global insurance giants and local players.
- The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) is targeting nearly five-fold growth in AUM to Rs. 95 lakh crore (US$ 1.47 trillion) and more than three times growth in investor accounts to 130 million by 2025.
- India's mobile wallet industry is estimated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 150% to reach US$ 4.4 billion by 2022, while mobile wallet transactions will touch Rs. 32 trillion (USD$ 492.6 billion) during the same period.
Note: Conversion rate used for August 2021 is Rs. 1 = US$ 0.01345
References: Media Reports, Press Releases, IRDAI, General Insurance Council, Reserve Bank of India, Union Budget 2021 22
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.