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Bharti AXA Gets Nod for MF Business

India is fast becoming an attractive destination for global players in the mutual fund business. Latest to join the growing number of AMCs is Bharti AXA

The joint venture between Bharti Enterprises, AXA Investment Managers and AXA Asia Pacific Holdings formed in September last year has got a green signal from the market regulator for carrying out asset management business in India.

AXA Investment Managers and AXA Asia Pacific Holdings, both arms of French insurer AXA, hold 75 per cent in the company and the rest is owned by the telecom giant Bharti. Sandeep Dasgupta (previously with Deutsche Asset Management, India) has been appointed the CEO and Prateek Agrawal as the Vice President & Head - Equity.

The asset management business has witnessed a lot of activity in the recent past and the number of parties interested in this business justifies the above mentioned fact. The number now stands at 33 and the list is expected to cross 50 by the year end. Some of the new players include - South Korea's Mirae Asset, Lotus India and AIG Global. Besides, Credit Agricole, Shinsei Bank, Fortis, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Aviva, and a couple of firms from the Middle-East Asia will soon make inroads in the AMC business.

Domestic entities too are vying for the growing asset management pie which is expected to grow at around 33 per cent year-on-year to $350 - $440 billion by 2012 (McKinsey estimates). The prominent names likely to start their mutual fund businesses soon include leading domestic financial services firm Indiabulls Financial Services, banks like Axis Bank, Bank of India and Yes Bank. Of late, IDFC bought Standard Chartered's mutual fund business for $205 million. According to McKinsey, growth in retail mutual funds (MFs) and portfolio management services (PMS) will be the key drivers of profitability for AMCs.

As on December 2007, AXA Investment Managers was managing assets worth 566 billion Euros and AXA Asia Pacific Holdings $106.4 billion (Australian dollars).