The Telegraph
Wednesday , September 5 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bank foray on Anil radar

Mumbai, Sept. 4: Reliance Capital, the financial services arm of the Anil Ambani group, today said it had sufficient resources to start a bank and would jostle for a much-coveted licence as soon as the final regulatory guidelines were in place.

The company is also looking to snare a strategic partner for its general insurance business.

Elsewhere, Nippon Life, which is a strategic partner in Reliance Capital’s asset management business, is in discussions with Reliance Mutual Fund to manage Nippon’s funds in India.

At the annual general meeting here today, Reliance Capital CEO Sam Ghosh said the company was ready to explore opportunities in banking at a time all its businesses were suitably capitalised.

In August last year, the RBI had come out with draft guidelines for new private banks. In July, it released the comments and suggestions it had received in response to its draft. Large conglomerates and business houses are awaiting the final guidelines before they start vying for a handful of licences.

Ghosh said Reliance Capital was evaluating expansion of businesses in distribution, wealth management, investment banking, private equity and asset management into other emerging markets. Chairman Anil Ambani said the company would consider a special dividend at a board meeting to be held on September 10 to mark Reliance Capital’s completion of 25 years of operations.

R-Com debt

Reliance Communications aims to pare its debt over the next few years from current levels of Rs 35,000 crore.

It hopes to do this by selling its telecom tower business, listing its undersea cable unit and improving capital productivity. The company had tried to stoke investor interest in the first two options this year but failed.

R-Com chairman Anil Ambani today said the company expected to complete the sale of its tower business, which is housed in Reliance Infratel, next year.

It is also keen on listing its Global Telecommunications Infrastructure Trust (GTI Trust), which oversees its sub-sea cable systems. Talks with potential investors on the sale of the tower business broke down because of differences over valuation.