Merrill Lynch expand presence in India

9 March 2007

Merrill Lynch's Indian division is stepping up its presence in the Indian banking market, according to a spokesman for the US investment bank.

The bank, which operates as DSP Merrill Lynch Ltd in India, currently has branches in New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai, but plans to open offices in a further five cities over the next three years.

News of Merrill's plans come in the wake of Citigroup's announcement that it too is expanding in a market that the Merrill Lynch Capgemini Asia Pacific Wealth Report in 2006 named as the second-fastest growing in the world.

Commenting on the expansion plans, Rahul Malhotra of Merrill told Reuters: "We are serious in building the business outside of the US and Asia is a key growth area for us. Within that, India is a very key focus area for us."

Merrill has also announced a new range of products and private equity funds which are designed to be attractive to the 83,000 millionaires that are estimated to live in India.

The Indian banking market is estimated to be worth up to $600 billion.

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