Hong Kong: Credit Suisse, one of the world’s top investment banks, said on 4 July it had obtained its Indian merchant banking licence, allowing it to underwrite domestic stock and bond deals in the booming market.
Credit Suisse, which hired V. Anantharaman to lead its Indian investment banking team in October, launched its domestic brokerage operations in March 2007.
The firm was hit with a two-year securities trading suspension in India in 2001, with domestic regulators alleging it had violated rules on price manipulation.
Credit Suisse hired Morgan Stanley veteran Mihir Doshi in early 2006 as its country head in Mumbai, as it has made India and China two of its top priorities globally.
Competition in the Indian market has become fierce.
Credit’s Suisse’s licence comes at a time when rivals like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are expanding their Indian operations to take advantage of booming cross-border M&A deals and securities issuance.
Those three firms have all recently detached from their local partners to go it alone in the market, while firms like Lehman Brothers are building up their franchises, leading to a war for talent in the banking sector.
Indian-targeted M&A volume was $39.4 billion in the first half, more than double from a year ago, according to market data firm Dealogic.
Indian stock issuance hit $16.7 billion in the first half, up 62 percent from a year ago and ranking the country third in Asia Pacific, behind China and Australia.
But investment bankers are most keen to focus on outbound M&A deals from India, where companies like Tata Steel and Ranbaxy Laboratories are among a group of firms buying overseas assets to become global players in their respective industries.
Tata Steel bid $12.2 billion for Anglo-Dutch group Corus and top Indian aluminium producer Hindalco Industries Ltd paid $5.9 billion for Canada’s Novelis Inc.
Indian generic drug makers like Ranbaxy and auto parts makers are also buying foreign assets.