The country's second largest private sector lender, HDFC Bank, is looking to foray into investment banking in the next three-four months and also has plans to expand its international presence.
The bank's investment banking business, expected to be operational in the first quarter of next fiscal, would fall under corporate wholesale banking division headed by its Executive Director Harish Engineer, according to sources close to the development.
The highly competitive investment banking space is already flush with a number of full-service banks like SBI, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Axis Bank, in addition to various pure-play domestic and overseas investment banks.
The bank is looking to leverage its strong client base in the wholesale banking business to augment its position in the investment banking area for competing with the existing players. Industry players said HDFC Bank's existing banking relationship with large and small companies would help it gain the investment banking mandates and soar up its fee-based income significantly.
Seeing international expansion of Indian companies as a major push behind the investment banking market, HDFC Bank is expected to simultaneously beef up its overseas presence along with the roll out of the new service. For this purpose, the bank is looking to set up branches at places such as Bahrain, Hong Kong and London.
When contacted, HDFC Bank spokesperson said the bank had got Sebi's approval for investment banking operation a couple of weeks ago. He, however, refused to divulge further details on investment banking and overseas operations.