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BNP To Invest Euro 70 Million In Sharekhan, Not To Exit Geojit

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BNP To Invest Euro 70 Million In Sharekhan, Not To Exit Geojit
Mumbai:  French financial power hosue BNP Paribas today said it will invest 70 million euros more into just acquired retail broking firm Sharekhan over the next five years, and ruled out exiting another brokerage firm Geojit.

Sharekhan, the largest standalone retail brokerage in the country, and the third largest in terms of customer base after ICICI Direct and HDFC Securities, was acquired by BNP Paribas late November. It is now a subsidiary of the globa banking giant's digital banking and investment services business -- Personal Investors.

BNP Paribas Group Executive Committee member Thierry Laborde told reporters here that of the total planned investments of 70 million euros, 15-20 million euros will be  pumped in to upgrade the digital platfrom of Sharekhan, a move which is expected to help the brokerage double its customer
base of 1.4 million over the next five years to 2.9 million. Sharekhan, set up in 2000, has 4.2 per cent market share, while ICICI Securities, the overall largest player, has 3.6 million customers.

But Sharekhan is the largest player in terms of active customers with 24 per cent of its 1.4 million customers being active in trading. This figure is only 17 per cent for ICICI and 15 per cent for HDFC Securities which has 2.3 million customers, making it the second largest player.

"We will make significant investments in technology, especially digital...allowing investors access to a variety of savings and investment products like equities and derivatives but also mutual funds," Mr Laborde said.

As part of its Vision 2020', Sharekhan by BNP Paribas is also targeting to be among the top 15 MF distributors in the country with Rs 20,000 crore in assets under management. Meanwhile, Laborde said the acquisition of Sharekhan does not affect BNP Paribas' commitment towards Geojit, in which it holds 32.6 per cent stake.

Affirming they have no plans to exit Geojit, BNP Paribas India CEO and Country Head Joris Dierckx said the move to acquire Sharekhan does not represent conflict of interest with Geojit.

"There is enough space for both companies to operate," Dierckx noted, adding, "Sharekhan by BNP Paribas is a significant step for the group in India and we expect that its strong network will be the backbone for the distribution of savings and investment products."

He said after the Sharekhan deal got the final regulatory and FIPB approval, the group withdrew its two board members from Geojit so that there is no conflict of interest.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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