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Asia market round up: Long passage back to India

In July, Credit Suisse announced that it had finally been allowed back into investment banking in India by local regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India. The new merchant banking licence permits Credit Suisse to undertake securities underwriting and corporate finance in what has been one of Asia’s most active markets in the past two years.

The new licence will come as a huge relief to Credit Suisse, which effectively shuttered its Indian investment banking and securities business after an ignominious exit at the hands of SEBI. After the market correction in 2001, SEBI accused Credit Suisse of manipulating trading in some local stocks and suspended the firm’s securities licence for two years.

Credit Suisse has been in rebuilding mode ever since. In 2006, the bank hired Mickey Doshi from Morgan Stanley as country head and V Anantharaman to lead investment banking. In March 2007, Credit Suisse relaunched its Indian securities business, also with a new licence.

Credit Suisse’s Indian resurrection might prove to be fortuitously timed since India’s investment banking landscape has changed significantly in the past year. Arguably, the playing field has been levelled, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley unwinding their successful local joint ventures to set up on their own and Merrill Lynch having bought out its local partner.

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