Non-Resident Indians (NRI) are allowed to purchase stocks and convertible debentures of a domestic organization through stock exchanges. Such investments can be made under the Portfolio Investment NRI Scheme (PINS) either on repatriation or non-repatriation basis.
The guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mandate NRIs to open a trading account with a designated institution authorized by the RBI. They must avail either a Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) or Non-Resident External (NRE) account to route the various investments.
A PINS account works similarly to an NRE account. Even when NRIs have an NRE account, a separate PINS account is mandatory for trading in equities. It is important for users to remember that an NRI can maintain only one PINS account at any point in time.
PINS accounts can be opened only at the designated branches of dealers that are authorized by the RBI under the PINS. The addresses are available on the websites of the various authorized dealers.
To avail the PINS account, users need to fill and submit an application form to the designated branch of an authorized dealer. Moreover, while submitting the application, clients must provide all details relating to any transactions done in the primary markets. A PINS Demat account form must also be submitted along with the application form.
While opening an online trading account, the NRI customers need to submit a copy of their passport, employment visa or work permit (as applicable), and their address proof. In addition, a PINS permission letter from the authorized dealer, PAN card, photographs, and proof of depository and bank accounts are required to be submitted along with the application form.
With the knowledge on what is a trading account, NRIs must also understand how payments for their investment purchases must be made. Payments for investments made on a repatriation basis is completed through an inward remittance through regular bank channels or through funds maintained in the NRE account. If the purchases are on non-repatriation basis, the payment can be made through funds retained in the NRO account.
Shares sold under repatriation basis can be credited to the NRE or NRO accounts of the investors. On the other hand, funds received for the sale of securities on non-repatriation basis can be credited only to the NRO accounts of the investors.
All shares purchased through NRI trading accounts can be sold only in Indian equity markets. Any arrangements under private sale or gift are not allowed by the RBI guidelines.
With RBI allowing equity investing for NRIs, institutions are offering different products to meet the increased demand. The flexibility offered by these various trading accounts ensures NRIs can find one that suits their requirements to invest in the Indian stock markets.
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