Citigroup plans Indian retail brokerage network

22 September 2006

Citigroup says it is planning to build a retail brokerage network across India as it eyes a larger share in the fast-growing market.

The US-based banking group intends to launch its brokerage under the Citigroup Smith Barney name later this year, the Financial Times reports.

Citigroup India chief executive Sanjay Nayar told the newspaper that the brokerage would initially focus on established clients when it is launched as early as November.

It then plans to expand the brokerage to a 25-branch network with the aim of boosting the bank's other businesses, such as its nascent private banking operation and its services targeting small and medium-sized enterprises.

Rapid economic growth in India has spurred a wave of equity issuance alongside merger and acquisition activity in the country, with DSP Merrill Lynch, JM Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, UBS and JPMorgan, ABN Amro – in addition to Citigroup –competing for market share.

Brokers say Indian retail investors account for around 75 per cent of trading volume in the equity markets, according to the FT.

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