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Home > Money > Budget 2007 > Business Headline > Report

Nasdaq keen to buy stake in NSE

Suman Guha Mozumder in New York | February 22, 2007 14:26 IST
Last Updated: February 22, 2007 18:24 IST

NASDAQ, the world's largest electronic equities exchange, is looking to acquire equity position in National Stock Exchange of India Limited.

This was said by Sunil Wadhwani, CEO, iGate last week while delivering a keynote address at the 3rd India Business Conference titled 'Investing in India: An Entrepreneur's Canvas.' The one-day conference was organized by the Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University.

"NASDAQ is now in deep discussion with the Bombay Stock Exchange on acquiring a slice of that. And this points out again that big players like NYSE and the NASDAQ recognize that India is the country where to stay because a lot of interesting things going on there," Wadhwani, whose company is listed on NASDAQ and had revenue of $293 million in 2002, said.

Wadhwani's came less than two months after the New York Stock Exchange entered India by signing a definitive agreement to acquire a 5 percent equity position for $115 million in the National Stock Exchange of India Limited.

On December 22, the Reserve Bank of India as well as the Securities and Exchange Board of India issued notifications separately announcing the long-waited government policy of allowing foreign investment in infrastructure companies in securities markets, namely stock exchanges, depositories and clearing corporations, in compliance with SEBI regulations.

Wadhwani said that one of the big trends happening in India today is that things are scaling up very quickly across the board. "And what that does is that It changes the mindset of people," he said.

"The second big trend is interconnectedness and integration and openness with the rest of the world. Last year, India -based companies were acquiring three overseas companies every week. The total dollars spent on acquisition have gone up from a $1 billion five years ago to about $20 billion last year and this year it is going to be three or four times large than that," he said.

Among others, who keynoted the conference, included Rick Rossow, director, US India Business Council; Raja Rajamannar, executive vice president, Citi Cards; and Vish Mishra, senior venture partner, Clearstone Ventures.

There were a number of panel discussions headed by eminent entrepreneurs. The school said the strong growth prospects of India cannot be talked about in isolation and some challenges exist in charting this course.

"In a hugely diverse country, where the only constant these days is change, economists and thought leaders remain confident that the opportunities are unlikely to be simply a manifestation of what has helped the developed world prosper. Entrepreneurship, therefore will play a key role in defining and cultivating the business landscape in India," it said.

Panelists, including Wadhwani, also answered questions from the audience, including ones on why poverty was increasing in the country despite India's known success in the rate of growth in gross domestic product.

Wadhwani said that the present government, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is well aware of the discrepancy and that measures are being taken by the government to correct the imbalance.

"Today there is higher expectancy from politicians by the middle class and there is lower tolerance for corruption and for bureaucracy," he said. "Governments will be tossed out if they do not perform well."