KBC Asset Management, the globally active asset manager of the Belgian KBC group, and Union Bank of India (UBI), a state bank in India, formally signed the shareholders’ agreement to set up a joint-venture asset management company in India, in which they will take a stake of 49% and 51%, respectively. The agreement was signed by Mr André Bergen, CEO of KBC Group NV, and Mr M.V. Nair, Chairman & Managing Director of Union Bank of India, in the presence of His Royal Highness King Albert II of Belgium and Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Karel De Gucht.
Commenting on the agreement, André Bergen, CEO of KBC Group NV, had this to say: ‘The joint venture is KBC Asset Management’s first step into the Indian asset management market. We are happy to work with such a reliable partner as Union Bank of India. Their knowledge of local investors and their extensive network of branches and service points, combined with the expertise of KBC Asset Management, especially in capital-protected investment funds for retail customers, represents the perfect blend of ingredients to create a top asset management company for retail and corporate investors in India.’
Mr M. V. Nair, Chairman & Managing Director, Union Bank of India said: ‘The Indian mutual fund industry has been growing at a rapid pace of 47% year-on-year over the last five years. However, current penetration levels are just 4-5%, clearly indicating the vast untapped potential in this area. These factors clearly show that the Indian mutual fund industry is at a nascent stage and there is ample scope for growth in the coming years, especially in the retail segment. We believe the time is right for us to enter the market by offering innovative customer-specific solutions.’
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