StanCart to buy remaining stake in UTI Securities

London-based Standard Chartered Plc today announced its decision to acquire the remaining 26 per cent stake in the erstwhile UTI Securities in the next three months.

In August 2007 the bank acquired a 49 per cent stake in brokerage firm UTI Securities from Securities Trading Corporation of India (STCI). The stake was then increased to 74 per cent in 2008 and the name was changed to Standard Chartered Capital Market.

"We are committed to complete 100 per cent acquisition in the renamed entity by middle of this year. This is in sync with the decision to enter corporate equity business," PTI quoted Standard Chartered Plc CEO (India and South Asia) Neeraj Swaroop as saying.

Earlier in the day, Standard Chartered filed a draft red herring prospectus with the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to become the first foreign entity to list in Indian bourse by raising up to $750 million through an issue of Indian Depositary Receipts (IDRs). (See: StanChart files for India listing of depository shares).

"Our intention to be the first company to list IDRs demonstrates how important India is to Standard Chartered. India is one of our largest and fastest-growing markets and achieved over $1 billion in profits in 2009. We have a 150-year heritage in India. This is a unique opportunity to raise our profile and allow investors in India to participate in our future," said Peter Sands, group chief executive of Standard Chartered.

UTI Securities, which has presence in 60 Indian cities, is engaged in retail and institutional broking, investment banking and distribution of investment products

Asserting that India, which contributes to 20 per cent of Stanchart's global profits, would continue to be the focus area, Swaroop said that this year the bank would enter a host of specialised corporate equity services to assist IPOs, brokerage and equity solutions to the Indian industry.

He said the bank already was catering to over 1,500 Indian corporate and over two million retail clients and that entry into this segment as also consolidation into wealth management made good business sense.