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Hedge Funds in India 2023: Definition, Types, Taxation & Strategies

Hedge Funds in India

Are you looking to invest in hedge funds but don’t know where to start? Are you curious about the future of hedge funds in India and how they will be taxed? Look no further!

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the exciting world of hedge funds in India 2023, exploring their definition, types, taxation and strategies. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, this guide will provide valuable insights on how to navigate the rapidly evolving landscape of Indian hedge funds. So let’s get started!

Introduction to Hedge Funds in India 2023

Hedge funds in India are investment vehicles that pool together capital from accredited investors and deploy it in a variety of strategies in order to generate absolute returns. Hedge funds are not subject to the same regulations as traditional mutual funds, which allows them to take on more risk in pursuit of higher returns.

There are a number of different types of hedge funds, each with their own distinct investment strategy. Some common hedge fund strategies include long/short equity, convertible arbitrage, event-driven, and relative value.

Hedge funds are typically taxed as income rather than capital gains, which can result in a higher tax liability for investors. However, there are a number of ways to minimize taxes on hedge fund investments.

The most important thing for potential investors to understand about hedge funds is that they come with a high degree of risk. Hedge funds should only be considered by investors who have a high tolerance for risk and are comfortable with the possibility of losing all or part of their investment.

Definition and Types of Hedge Funds in India

There are numerous definitions of hedge funds, but in general, they can be defined as pooled investment vehicles that are typically only open to accredited investors and that use a variety of strategies in an attempt to generate high returns while also minimizing risk. Hedge funds are not subject to many of the regulations that traditional investment vehicles such as mutual funds.

There are several different types of hedge funds, each with its own distinct investment strategy. Some common types include:

1) Equity hedge funds: These funds focus on investments in stocks and other equity securities. They may use a variety of strategies including long/short positions, event-driven investing, and activist investing.

2) Macro hedge funds: These funds take large bets on economic trends using a variety of financial instruments including currencies, bonds, and commodities.

3) Relative value hedge funds: These funds seek to profit from discrepancies in prices between different asset classes or securities. For example, they may exploit differences in the price of a stock versus its derivative contracts.

4) Event-driven hedge funds: These funds seek to profit from special situations such as corporate restructurings, bankruptcies, and mergers & acquisitions.

5) Activist hedge funds: These funds take active roles in the management of the companies they invest in, often pushing for changes in strategy or management.

Taxation of Hedge Funds in India

In India, a Hedge Fund is defined as an investment fund that pools in money from various investors with an aim to generate returns that outperform a benchmark index. These funds can be either actively or passively managed. The key difference between the two lies in the fact that actively managed funds have portfolio managers who make decisions regarding which stocks/securities to buy or sell, based on their research and analysis whereas passive funds tracking a particular index do not have portfolio managers making investment decisions.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulates hedge funds in India. All hedge fund schemes must be registered with SEBI before they can start operations.

Hedge funds are subject to taxation in India. If the fund is registered as a trust, then it is taxed at the rate of 30%. However, if the fund is registered as a company, then it is taxed at the corporate tax rate of 25%. Capital gains made by hedge funds are taxed at the rate of 15%.

Strategies for Investing in Hedge Funds

There are a number of strategies that can be employed when investing in hedge funds. Some common strategies include:

1) Capital preservation – This is where the investor aims to protect their original investment by minimising losses.

2) Absolute return – The focus here is on generating positive returns regardless of market conditions.

3) Event-driven – These strategies aim to profit from specific events such as corporate takeovers or bankruptcies.

4) Macro – These funds bet on broad economic trends and aim to profit from changes in global markets.

5) Relative value – This approach looks to exploit pricing discrepancies between different asset classes or securities.

Risk Management in Hedge Funds

Risk management is one of the most important aspects of running a hedge fund. Hedge funds are often complex financial vehicles that can be difficult to value and manage. As a result, risk management is critical to ensuring the success of a hedge fund.

There are a number of different risks that need to be managed when running a hedge fund. These include investment risk, market risk, liquidity risk, and counterparty risk. Each type of risk needs to be carefully monitored and managed in order to avoid potential losses.

Investment risk is the risk of loss due to the underlying investments in the hedge fund. This includes both the potential for loss on individual investments as well as the possibility of losing money if the overall market declines. Market risk is the chance that general market conditions will have a negative impact on the value of the hedge fund’s portfolio.

Liquidity risk is the danger that the hedge fund will not be able to meet its obligations when they come due because there are not enough buyers for the assets it owns. Counterparty risk is the likelihood that counterparties will default on their obligations to the hedge fund.

All these risks need to be managed in order to run a successful hedge fund. Risk management strategies should be designed to minimize potential losses and protect investor capital.

Regulatory Scenario for Hedge Funds

It is important to have a clear understanding of the regulatory scenario for hedge funds before investing in them. In India, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulator for all investment vehicles, including hedge funds.

Hedge funds registered with SEBI are allowed to operate as either ‘collective investment schemes’ (CIS) or ‘alternative investment funds’ (AIFs). CIS are regulated under the SEBI (Collective Investment Schemes) Regulations, 1999, while AIFs are governed by the SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012.

Both CIS and AIF must be registered with SEBI before they can start operations. They also need to comply with certain eligibility criteria and ongoing requirements. For instance, CIS must have a minimum corpus of INR 20 crore (approx. US$ 3 million), while AIF must have a minimum corpus of INR 100 crore (approx. US$ 15 million).

CIS and AIF are also subject to different tax treatment. While income from CIS is taxed at the normal rates applicable to mutual funds, income from AIF is taxed at 10% without any indexation benefit. Capital gains from the sale of units in both types of fund are subject to long-term capital gains tax if held for more than 12 months.


In conclusion, hedge funds in India are set to continue to grow in popularity and importance over the next few years. As more investors become aware of the potential benefits that these funds can offer, it is likely that they will play an increasingly important role in the Indian financial markets.

It is essential for both prospective and current investors to understand all aspects of hedge fund investing including definitions, types, taxation rules and strategies before committing their capital. With this knowledge at hand, investors may be able to make better informed decisions on how best to deploy their resources across different asset classes.