Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) today said it has approved Religare group’s 49 per cent stake sale in its mutual fund (MF) business to global investment management firm Invesco.

According to the deal reached in September, the US-based Invesco is acquiring 49 per cent stake in Religare Asset Management Company and Religare Trustee Company Pvt Limited, which manage assets worth over Rs 14,600 crore for Religare group’s mutual fund business.

Invesco is acquiring the stake through a group entity, Invesco Hong Kong Ltd, from Religare Securities Ltd and the deal is estimated to have valued Religare group’s mutual fund business at about Rs 1,000 crore.

In its order dated November 8 and released today, the CCI said that the deal is not likely to have any “appreciable adverse effect on competition in India” as Invesco does not have any direct or indirect presence in the Indian mutual fund and portfolio management services in the country.

The CCI further said that there are more than 40 other registered AMCs (Asset Management Companies) in the country and more than 250 portfolio managers providing their services, implying significant competition prevailing in these markets.

Invesco and Religare group had approached CCI for its approval to the deal in October, pursuant to which the fair trade regulator had sought some additional information. The replies to the CCI queries were submitted on November 1.

The CCI observed that New York-listed Invesco is a global investment manager and provides a wide range of investment products and services to retail and institutional investors across the world.

While Invesco does not engage in any of these activities in India currently, its affiliate in the country, WL Ross (India) Pvt Limited, provides advisory services in relation to private equity investment.

However, it does not operate in the mutual funds and portfolio management services markets in the country, while another affiliate, Invesco (Hyderabad) Pvt Ltd provides IT—enabled services, the CCI observed.

(This article was published on November 15, 2012)
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