Analysts See India as Important Market

A planned joint investment banking venture will be J.P. Morgan & Co.'s first business presence in India.

Morgan announced plans Monday to set up the joint venture with Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India, a leading Indian bank. Morgan will own 40% of the venture, to be called ICICI Securities & Finance Co.

"India is a large country taking substantial steps to liberalize its economy," said Richard Hedberg, vice president for emerging markets at Morgan in New York. "That means the private sector will be available to do business with international banks in ways they haven't been able to in the past."

Viewed as Logical Step

Analysts said the venture is a logical one for Morgan, given its sizable underwriting and corporate advisory businesses in developing markets, especially Latin America.

"India is certainly becoming a much more important marketplace," observed Gary Kleiman, senior partner at Kleiman International Consultants Inc., a Washington-based firm that analyzes emerging markets. "With deregulation, you're going to see consolidation and a need for mergers and acquisitions corporate finance, and international capital market issues."

Morgan joins Citicorp and the Bank of America unit of Bank-America Corp., each with branches in Madras, Bombay, New Delhi, and Calcuta.

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