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Online Bond Platforms Unite to Form OBPP Association of India

Online Bond Platforms Unite to Establish OBPP Association of India


Online Bond Platforms Unite to Form OBPP Association of India

In a significant move to bolster the fixed-income market in India, Online Bond Platform Providers (OBPPs) have come together to establish the OBPP Association of India. This newly formed industry body aims to promote industry growth, represent stakeholders to regulators and exchanges, and enhance retail participation in debt securities markets.

The formalization of the OBPP Association took place at a members’ meeting held on May 28, 2024, at the NSE office in Mumbai. The meeting saw the attendance of more than 20 of the current 27 licensed OBPPs in the country. During this gathering, the Executive Committee of the association was established, comprising key industry leaders:

  • Chairperson – Aditi Mittal, IndiaBonds
  • Vice-Chairperson – Suresh Darak, Bondbazaar
  • Secretary – Tirth Shah, The Fixed Income
  • Joint Secretary – Nishant Prasad, Wint Wealth
  • Treasurer – Pranav Inamdar, Trust Securities
  • Tech Director – Aashish Jindal, Grip Invest
  • Honorary Member – Ajay Manglunia, JM Finance
  • Member – Aditya Mehta, BondConnect
  • Member – Vijay Kuppa, InCred Money
  • Member – Harsh Punjabee, Smest Capital
  • Member – Irfan Mohammed, Yubi Securities

Regulated by SEBI, OBPPs are emerging as vital players in India’s financial markets. These platforms facilitate the buying and selling of bonds and other debt securities for retail investors. In addition to providing technology-enabled market access, OBPPs educate and empower retail investors, offer trading infrastructure, ensure seamless settlement and custody of securities, provide investor support, and offer portfolio management tools.

The establishment of the OBPP Association of India marks a significant step toward fostering the growth of the fixed-income industry. The association will serve as a unified voice for OBPPs, advocating their interests to regulators, exchanges, and clearing houses. By promoting increased retail participation in debt securities markets, the association aims to deepen market penetration and enhance overall market liquidity.

The OBPP Association of India has outlined several key objectives for its future endeavors. These include setting industry standards, facilitating networking and collaboration within the industry, and engaging in advocacy and representation. The association is also committed to promoting healthy competition within the industry to ensure retail investors receive the best possible investment experience. To achieve its developmental goals, the association plans to work through various operational committees focused on areas such as legal matters, membership, education, ethics/governance, technology, and treasury. These committees will play a crucial role in fostering the overall growth of fixed-income investments among retail and non-institutional investors.

The formation of the OBPP Association comes at a pivotal time for the industry. Recently, SEBI approved the reduction of the face value of privately placed listed bonds to Rs. 10,000 from Rs. 1 lakh, streamlining payment processes and leveraging technology for information dissemination. These regulatory changes are expected to catalyze increased retail participation, bringing more liquidity and stability to the market. This move follows SEBI’s earlier reduction in 2022 of the face value of such securities to Rs. 1 lakh from Rs. 10 lakh, further underscoring the regulator’s commitment to enhancing market accessibility for retail investors.

Aditi Mittal, Chairperson of the OBPP Association of India and a leading figure at IndiaBonds, commented on the association’s formation: “This association represents a significant step forward for the fixed-income market in India. By coming together, we can better advocate for our industry, set higher standards, and enhance the investment experience for retail investors. Our collaborative efforts will drive growth and innovation in the debt securities market.”

Suresh Darak, Vice-Chairperson of the association and a key player at Bondbazaar, added, “The OBPP Association of India is dedicated to ensuring that retail investors have access to a robust and transparent debt market. Our combined expertise and resources will enable us to address the challenges faced by the industry and promote sustainable growth.”

As the OBPP Association of India begins its journey, it stands poised to play a transformative role in the country’s financial landscape. By fostering collaboration, setting industry standards, and advocating for regulatory advancements, the association aims to create a more vibrant and inclusive market for debt securities, benefiting both investors and the broader economy.

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