The City of London, as the separately administered financial centre of London is known, wants to do business in India.
It isn’t just Tata Steel’s acquisition of Corus that has prompted the city’s decision to open an office in Mumbai, it is the interest of several Indian firms in the UK market; it is the growing interest of Indian firms in listing on the London Stock Exchange; and it is the $8 billion (Rs35,200 crore) cumulative investment of Indian businesses in the UK, a number that will go up sharply after the Tata-Corus deal.
The City of London’s office in Mumbai will be a liaison one; it has also created an advisory committee of six high-profile business leaders, Mukesh Ambani, chairman, Reliance Industries; Deepak Parekh, chairman, Housing Development Finance Corporation; K.V. Kamath, chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director, ICICI Bank; Naina Lal Kidwai,CEO, HSBC India; Zia Mody, senior partner of law firm AZB and Partners; and Nasser Munjee, chairman, Development Credit Bank. Alan Rosling, executive director, Tata Sons, will chair the committee.
The advisory board met for the first time in Mumbai on Wednesday. It will meet twice a year alternatively in Mumbai and London, and these six CEOs will play a key role in developing the role of especially the small and medium sized industries in the global economy.
At the first meeting, the committee identified three key areas of focus—financing infrastructure projects in India, helping smaller Indian companies raise capital in global markets and improving the vibrancy of the corporate debt market in India
“This move is a clear indication that UK sees India’s increasing importance in the emerging global economy and the city acknowledges the role of Mumbai as a financial hub. It is not so much the large companies, but the smaller Indian companies who could do with advice from experts,” said Michael Snydner, chairman, policy and resource committee, City of London.
City of London got permission from India’s central bank to set up its liaison office on 19 January.
The Mumbai office will promote the services of the city to the Indian public and private sector businesses. These services include raising of capital, insurance, asset management, infrastructure finance and consultancy, and access to the exchanges of London. The Mumbai office will identify opportunities for UK-based financial services firms.