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Reliance Cap buys Kuoni arm

Mumbai, Nov. 4: In a bid to straddle the financial services space, the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group (R-ADAG) has decided to acquire a 100 per cent stake in Travelmate Services (India) Pvt Ltd, the Kuoni Group’s foreign exchange money changing unit, for an undisclosed sum. The proposed acquisition will be done through Reliance Capital.

According to Reliance Capital, the acquisition will mark its entry into money changing and money transfer in one of the world’s fastest growing, and most under-served markets.

Travelmate Services, wholly owned by the Kuoni Group, has 36 offices, 2,900 agents and 91 employees across the country. The company is headquartered in Mumbai.

Thomas Cook India Ltd (TCIL), is now the country’s largest money changer. In July this year, TCIL acquired LKP Forex in a Rs 200-crore deal.

The recent acquisitions in the money-changing space have been prompted by a sudden surge in forex demand because of an increase in both outbound and inbound tourist traffic in the country.

Reliance Capital, which has interests in asset management and mutual funds, life and general insurance, private equity and proprietary investments, stock broking and other activities in financial services, is also looking at other areas, including consumer finance and distribution of financial products.

It now ranks among the top three private sector financial companies in terms of net worth.

Recently, R-ADAG joined hands with Citibank to launch the ‘Reliance credit card’. It is a co-branded card with Citibank in association with Visa International and will be in silver and gold categories. Initially, it will be available in Mumbai and Delhi, followed by other metros like Hyderabad, Chennai, Calcutta, Pune and Bangalore, and thereafter in all major cities and towns nationwide.

In addition to usual benefits available with regular credit cards, Reliance credit cards come free for life and provide a host of benefits and reward points as part of a unique loyalty programme. It will also offer complimentary vouchers for use at Reliance world outlets and Adlabs multiplexes, cash advance facility, free utility bill payment facilities, hospital allowance and free towing of vehicles.

RCL posted a 40 per cent rise in net profits for the half year ended September 30.

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