Foreign financial firms make India push


Reuters | Wed Jun 30, 2010 | 4:08pm IST

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group will buy a 4.5 percent stake in Kotak Mahindra Bank for $296 million, as Japan’s No. 3 bank steps up efforts to expand overseas. Global banks, including Standard Chartered, Credit Suisse and Citibank, are all expanding operations in Asia’s third-largest economy, which is forecast to grow more than 8 percent this financial year. Following are details on recent moves or plans by overseas financial firms to build operations in India.

* Rabobank moved a step closer to setting up a banking unit in India as it cut its stake in mid-sized local lender Yes Bank for about $213 million this month, to meet regulatory requirements.

* Last month, Standard Chartered raised about $530 million by issuing the first Indian depositary receipts to build its brand and presence in its second-largest market by profit.

* Goldman Sachs has applied for a banking licence in India.

* Australia and New Zealand Banking Group said in March it had won regulatory approval to set up operations in India, and targets a A$100 million ($90 million) pretax profit from India in three to four years.

* Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc will set up a wholly-owned unit in India that will acquire a corporate agency licence from the insurance regulator, the Economic Times newspaper reported this month.  

* Pramerica, the latest in a series of foreign money managers to set up shop in India, hopes to manage 150 billion rupees ($3.2 billion) by 2015, helping it break even in the fiercely competitive domestic fund market.

* BNY Mellon Asset Management, a unit of the world’s top custodian, Bank of New York Mellon, is looking to expand its business into India, in the latest stage of its plan to boost its presence in Asia.

* Morgan Stanley plans to hire 10-20 advisers at its Indian private bank arm over the next 12 months, an increase of up to 50 percent, as wealth managers scramble to expand in the country.

* Credit Suisse’ India wealth management unit hopes to double assets in each of the next three years as it triples its headcount to tap the very rich in a fast-growing market.

* Credit Suisse said in March it had received in-principle approval to establish a bank branch in India, which it said will help it expand the range of services it offers in the country.

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