The SEBI headquarters in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Adeel Halim/Bloomberg)

Not Preparing High-Risk Jurisdictions List: SEBI Assures Mauritius

Market regulator SEBI has assured the Mauritian government that it will not prepare a list of "high-risk jurisdictions" to monitor capital flows from such nations with greater scrutiny.

The move comes amid media reports tagging Mauritius among the list of high-risk countries. The list was believed to be prepared by custodians of foreign funds on the directions of Securities and Exchange Board of India.

SEBI gave the assurance that it is neither working on, nor contemplating to produce any list at its level, which will identify Mauritius as a high risk jurisdiction.
Financial Services Commission, Mauritius

This assurance was given by SEBI at high level meeting with a delegation led by the CEO of the FSC of Mauritius on Wednesday.

Terming a country as ‘high-risk jurisdiction" would mean beneficial owners of funds and large investors coming into India through these dominions will face higher scrutiny such as frequent KYC (know your customer) documentation checks, and higher due diligence of ultimate beneficiary ownership (UBO) for investors.

"The meeting was held within the framework of the existing memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two regulatory bodies, and was cordial... Both institutions reaffirmed the need for constant engagement and collaboration in regulatory matters between Mauritius and India," the FSC said.

The FSC has received the comfort that SEBI acknowledges all initiatives undertaken by Mauritius to ensure full adherence to best international norms and practices with respect to regulatory oversight and enforcement, it said.

Both FSC and SEBI have agreed to continue their collaboration, and the FSC Representative Office in Mumbai continues to be a key point of contact for SEBI.

In addition, other avenues of collaboration between FSC and SEBI in areas of financial technologies and capacity building have equally been discussed.

The Indian market regulator further affirmed that recent media reports are speculative in nature regarding Mauritius and that it has no adverse concerns with respect to the Mauritius jurisdiction.

As per media reports, the capital markets regulator had asked custodians to prepare a list of high risk jurisdictions so that capital flows from those nations can be monitored with higher due diligence.