BNP Paribas to continue holding stake in Geojit unit even after Sharekhan buy

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Mumbai: French Bank BNP Paribas SA plans to continue holding its stake in Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd, even after its acquisition of retail-focused brokerage Sharekhan.

“It’s a a large country, with a very deep market in savings , mutual funds and so on,” said Thierry Laborde, deputy chief operating officer- head of domestic markets at BNP Paribas

“We will continue in this way,” Laborde said in a press briefing.

As at 30 September, BNP Paribas SA held 32.60% stake in Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd, while BNP Paribas India Holding Pvt. Ltd held 0.80% stake, data from BSE showed.

French bank BNP Paribas completed the acquisition of brokerage Sharekhan in November, after receiving approvals from all relevant regulatory authorities.

In July 2015, the French bank had said it had agreed to acquire Sharekhan after nearly six months of negotiations between existing investors and bidders, including bulge bracket private equity (PE) firms Warburg Pincus Llc. and General Atlantic Llc., which bid together.

Sharekhan was founded in 2000 by Mumbai-based entrepreneur Shripal Morakhia, whose family was in the equity broking business for decades.

Till March 2007, the Morakhia family owned a 43.58% stake in the brokerage. Over the years, this holding was sold to PE investors.

The purchase will reinforce BNP Paribas’s retail broking operations in a country where it offers corporate and retail banking, investment banking and wealth management.

It will also allow it to further expand into brokerages as well as asset management in India, BNP Paribas had said at the time the acquisition was announced.