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Exploring Hedge Funds and AIFs for NRI Investors in India

Delve into the potential of Hedge Funds and AIFs as lucrative investment avenues for NRIs in India. Discover benefits, regulations, and more.
min read
February 3, 2024


For Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) looking to diversify their investment portfolios, Hedge Funds and Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) in India present attractive opportunities. These investment vehicles offer a blend of potential high returns and access to a variety of asset classes.

Hedge Funds for NRIs: An Overview

Hedge Funds are private investment funds that employ a range of strategies to earn active returns for their investors. They are known for using aggressive strategies unavailable to mutual funds, including leverage, long, short, and derivative positions in both domestic and international markets.

Key Features

  • Diverse Strategies: Including short selling, arbitrage, and derivatives.
  • Higher Potential Returns: Though accompanied by higher risks.
  • Investor Requirements: Generally, they require investors to have a certain level of wealth and readiness to pay significant management fees.

Why Invest in Hedge Funds?

  • Diversification: Hedge funds can offer investments uncorrelated with traditional asset classes.
  • Risk Management: Potential for higher total returns by lowering overall portfolio volatility.

Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs)

AIFs are privately pooled investment vehicles that collect funds to invest in a variety of asset classes like private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, and real estate. They are broadly categorized into three categories: Category I (including venture capital funds), Category II (including private equity and debt funds), and Category III (including hedge funds and PIPE funds).

Benefits of AIFs

  • Diversification: Exposure to various asset classes.
  • Higher Returns: Potential to deliver higher returns compared to traditional investments.
  • Low Market Linkage: Reduced correlation with stock markets and immunity to market volatility.

Taxation and Regulatory Framework

  • SEBI Regulation: AIFs in India are regulated under the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
  • Tax Benefits: Category I and II AIFs have pass-through tax benefits, while Category III AIFs are taxable at the fund level.

Investment Criteria

  • Minimum Investment: Usually INR 1 crore.
  • Eligibility: Open to Indian residents, NRIs, and foreign nationals.
  • Lock-in Period: Typically 3 years.


Hedge Funds and AIFs in India offer NRIs a chance to invest in alternative asset classes with potential for high returns and portfolio diversification. However, it's crucial for investors to understand the risks, regulatory framework, and taxation implications associated with these investments. Consulting with a financial advisor is recommended to align investment choices with individual financial goals and risk tolerance.

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Tejas is an accomplished Chartered Accountant with a passion for finance. With a decade's worth of extensive experience in the banking and credit domain, he has a deep understanding of the financial landscape across consulting and start-ups. In his time away from work, Tejas enjoys sharing his knowledge and helping others understand the intricacies of this complex domain.

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