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Hinduja firm Amas buys 40% in Patco

Palak Shah & Priya Nadkarni  |  Mumbai 

In yet another attempt to widen its reach in the country’s financial services sector, the Hindujas have picked up a 40 per cent stake in Paterson Investment and Consultancy Services (Patco), a Chennai-based stockbroking company, for an undisclosed amount.

Switzerland-based Amas Bank, the transnational bank of the Hinduja Group, picked up the stake in Patco, the 150-year-old brokerage, which is the founder-member of the Madras Stock Exchange. Patco, which was the largest stockbroking firm in south India, has seen its market share dwindle after the electronic trading system was introduced in the country in the late 1990s.

Patco claims to have 20 retail branches across India, a majority of which are in the South. Ivan Schouker, chief executive officer (CEO), Amas Bank, Christophe Morvan, managing director, Amas Bank, and K Muralidharan of Amas Bank will join the Patco board, said Amarnath Maitreyan, the CEO of Patco. All the three are based in Amas Bank’s headquarters in Geneva.

The stake purchase paves the way for the Hindujas to enter the non-banking finance (NBFC) and asset management businesses in India.

Talking to Business Standard, Morvan said: “We would like to get into wealth management as well as corporate finance, catering to Indian companies looking at expansion opportunities.”

K C Reddy, the former head of Fortis India Investments (ABN Amro Investments), would be instrumental in developing the AMC business for Amas Bank in India, said sources. Reddy joined Amas Bank recently as the head of their global asset management business.

The Hinduja group, headed by London-based Srichand Hinduja, has been trying to get into asset management, stockbroking and NBFC segments for quite some time.

First Published: Thu, December 11 2008. 00:00 IST