Barclays and BNP Paribas are said to be considering Lehman’s investment banking and brokerage units in India. Lehman employs 175 in its India front office operations. It has all the regulatory approvals in place and is well capitalized to enter new businesses.
Barclays owns a banking arm in India providing wealth management services, private banking and structured products. It also runs an NBFC operating the credit card business and providing personal loans.
BNP Paribas runs a mutual fund in India and has broking exposure through its investments in Geojit Securities, where is it a strategic partner.
Both Banks have been looking to set up investment banking units in India. Lehman investment banking business is strategic fit to both. Lehman bought the institutional broking business of BRICS Securities last year for Rs.100 crore. This unit makes more sense to Barclays as it has acquired Lehman’s core US broking assets and is rumoured to buy the European assets as well.
Through its Indian investment banking and brokerage business, Lehman has a licence to operate a non-banking financial company with ready assets and is sitting on a capital of over $500 million.