Singapore: Credit Suisse, which was forced to halt trading securities in India in 2001 for two years, will reopen its brokerage business in Mumbai later this month to tap into India’s booming capital markets.
“We will start trading in India in the near future,” said Paul Calello, the chief executive of the bank’s Asia-Pacific operations who was recently appointed head of global investment banking. “I would expect this month.”
India’s stock market regulator suspended the bank’s Indian unit from broking activities in 2001 for two years, alleging that it had violated rules on price manipulation. Credit Suisse’s brokerage business in India has been dormant ever since.
Calello said that China and India would remain key growth markets for Credit Suisse in Asia and that the bank has been building its presence in these two markets.
India has been Asia’s largest market for mergers and acquisitions so far this year, accounting for nearly half of non-Japan Asia’s activity after Britain’s Vodafone Group Plc agreed to pay $11.1 billion (Rs) for a controlling stake in Hutchison Essar, India’s fourth-largest cellular phone company.
Calello, who was speaking at the opening of the bank’s new offices in Singapore, said he expected the headcount to jump from 1,400 currently to as many as 2,500 by the end of 2008.
“Asia-Pacific has made a very meaningful contribution to the bottom line of the firm and it is growing at an extraordinary double-digit pace each year. Profit is doubling every two years,” Calello said. “I think we can continue to see extraordinary growth for a very long time in Asia.”
He said Asia’s strong economic growth, the potential for higher capital market activity and privatisation are likely to drive business.
“There continues to be a gap between capital market activity as a percentage of GDP growth here and in other parts of the world,” he said.
China’s market capitalization is just 52 percent of the country’s GDP, whereas in the United States, the comparable figure was 146 percent last year, Credit Suisse said. REUTERS