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Stockbrokers to set up shop overseas

By Sachin P Mampatta
February 13, 2019 16:34 IST
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'NRI interest has gone up in the past three-four years.'
Sachin P Mampatta reports.

Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Brokers are looking to set up shop abroad to tap non-resident Indians.

Assets under custody of NRIs are up 147.1% since 2013-2014.

They accounted for Rs 1,318 crore as of 2013-2014, rising to Rs 3,257 crore as of November 2018, the latest month for which figures are available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

A fall in the local currency, a better perception of local fundamentals coupled with developed market issues have contributed to an increasing number of NRIs looking to invest in India.


"We now have the approvals and recently set up an office in Singapore. We have had a presence in Hong Kong and are now exploring options for a presence in West Asia," says Arpita Vinay, executive director, Centrum Wealth Management.

"Offices are being set up to cater to NRIs and other offshore investors who wish to participate in the India opportunity across asset classes," she adds. "It is also to cater to India-based clients who may wish to have some diversification abroad."

A number of clients in Africa invest through jurisdictions such as Dubai for their global investments, according to Vinay.

"Given the vast NRI population and huge amount of remittances coming to India from the Gulf Cooperation Council, we are focusing on the GCC right now," says Dharmesh C Desai, senior vice-president, IIFL Securities.

A team in India interact with NRIs in regions including West Asia and Europe, Desai adds.

"NRI interest has gone up in the past three-four years," says Ashish Shanker, executive vice-president and head-investments, Motilal Oswal Wealth Management.

Favourable currency movements, stabilising macro-economic parameters and the tempering of the rally in the US and the challenges emerging for China have made Indian markets look more attractive, says Vinay.

The World Bank in a recent statement noted India accounted for one of the world's biggest flows of remittances.

The current NRI assets under custody are less than $500 million.

This is a fraction of the World Bank's remittances figure of $80 billion a year for India.

The second was China ($67 billion), and Mexico and the Philippines, which accounted for $34 billion each, came third.

Growth is expected to continue, though at a more moderate pace.

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Sachin P Mampatta
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