StanChart seeks buyer for Indian MF biz arm

Written by Banking Bureau | Mumbai, Dec 28 | Updated: Dec 29 2007, 06:08am hrs
UK-based Standard Chartered Bank after calling off its agreement to sell its Indian mutual fund business to UBS Securities due to non-approval of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will now seek a new buyer by reinitiating the tender process.

Standard Chartered PLCs contract with UBS for the disposal of its Indian fund management business has expired, said a banks release issued from London on Friday.

UBS had agreed with Stanchart to acquire the latter's mutual fund business in India for $118 million. UBS Securities also issued statement on Friday about the cancellation of the agreement to acquire Stanchart MF business.

The Swiss firm however, in a statement, said a strategic alliance between the two companies for fund distribution in Asia, announced at the same time as the planned acquisition, would remain unaffected.

The sale and purchase agreement that was signed with UBS in January 2007 was conditional upon UBS securing certain regulatory approvals, which have not been granted.

However, throughout 2007, the bank's mutual fund business continued to grow and operate normally, said the Stanchart release.

Earlier, Manisha Girotra, managing director and chairperson, India, of the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) has declined to comment on the RBIs disapproval of its plan to acquire fund management arm of Standard Chartered Bank. Manisha refused to comment on the issue.