BNP Paribas acquires stake in Indian brokerage

14 March 2007

French bank BNP Paribas has acquired a 27 per cent stake in Indian brokerage Geojit Financial Services in an undisclosed deal.

Geojit issued 56.8 million shares, of which BNP Paribas as has bought 22.8 million.

The deal will see BNP Paribas become the largest shareholder in the Kerala-based company, which specializes in brokerage services in stocks, derivatives and commodities.

BNP Paribas has also announced that it plans to up its stake to 54 per cent to further its ambitions in investment banking in the Indian market.

The company will be re-branded Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, with its current leadership, under managing director C J George, retaining stewardship of the bank.

Commenting on the deal, Mr George, said: "By joining the global network of BNP Paribas, Geojit will be in a position to serve large number of Indians living outside India, apart from gaining knowledge from BNP Paribas' position as the market leader in online brokerage in continental Europe.

"This additional capital will be utilised for expansion of business in the Middle East, branch expansion in India and strengthening the financial products' distribution division," he added.

BNP's move into the Indian market comes on the heels of expansion in the territory from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup.

Geojit has more than 400 offices throughout India.

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