Singapore-based DBS Bank Ltd, which currently has two branches in Mumbai and New Delhi, said it is exploring opportunities to launch specialized products—such as shipping investment trusts and real estate investment trusts—for its Indian clients.
Shipping investment trusts are similar in structure to mutual funds and pool assets from investors to fund the purchase of a shipping vessel. These ships are then chartered to shipping firms, and the trust services the bank loan from the charter rates.
“This is a form of finance that is available in Singapore as of now. Indian markets are a little premature for this product?now,”?says N.K. Shah, vice-president (corporate finance) at Varun Shipping Ltd, a Mumbai-based company.
Despite having a full range of commercial banking services, DBS India is currently limited by its presence.
On its own, it offers wholesale banking, treasury management, merger and acquisition advisory and wealth management services; it also offers commercial banking services through its joint venture partner Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Co. Ltd. Through its subsidiaries, the bank has also established its presence in the securities and asset management businesses since January 2006.
DBS India said it is focusing on the mid-market segment—which it defines as firms having an annual turnover of up to Rs700 crore—as part of its growth strategy. The bank posted net profit of Rs74.1 crore for the year ended 31 March, a 360% increase over its March 2006 profit that stood at Rs16.04 crore. The Indian arm saw capital infusion of $100 million in March from the parent.