ICICI, India’s second-largest bank, is buying a 6 per cent stake in its mutual fund venture from UK’s Prudential group, taking its holding to 51 percent. “This was the only piece where we were minority partners, now it completes the entire spectrum,” Kalpana Morparia, deputy managing director of the bank, told Reuters.
The fund, Prudential ICICI Asset Management, has 500,000 customers and 179 billion rupees ($4.11 billion) under management. Morparia declined to say how much ICICI Bank paid for the additional stake. “We see the mutual fund industry has enormous growth potential,” she said, adding that with bank deposits growing at about 12-14 percent a year, mutual fund growth should be over 20 percent. “Also there are synergy benefits for the entire group, in terms of distribution,” she said, since the bank itself had more than 12 million customers and a leading presence in the private sector life insurance business. ($1 = 43.6 Indian rupees).