India's best securities house 2019
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India's best securities house 2019

Kotak Mahindra Capital

KVS Manian, Whole-time Director, Corporate, Institutional & Investment Banking, Wealth Management, Kotak Mahindra Bank.jpg
KVS Manian, Kotak Mahindra Bank

India may be somewhat cut off from the rest of Asia Pacific, but it has one of the largest equity markets outside China; as a result, international investment banks and a slew of local competitors go head-to-head in the primary capital markets, which, in India, is where a firm proves its mettle.

Among the crowd, with a bite stronger than most, is Kotak Mahindra Capital. The firm is backed by Kotak Mahindra Bank, overseen by KVS Manian, the bank’s president, corporate, institutional and investment banking and wealth management.

But Kotak Mahindra Capital is a separate entity and it has shown over the last year that it can handle the largest of deals while working with foreign and domestic competitors. During our awards period it ranked second in Dealogic’s league table, only marginally below Morgan Stanley, the dominant international bank in the country.

Kotak had 11 deals worth a total of $7.86 billion during the period, working on jumbo trades such as Vodafone Idea’s $3.6 billion qualified institutional placement, fully marketing the $1.02 billion not taken by cornerstone investors.

Morgan Stanley also worked on the Vodafone QIP, ultimately handling 10 trades for a combined $7.93 billion over the same period. Kotak and the US firm captured 42.8% and 43.1% of the market respectively.

There are a whole host of local investment banks and securities firms vying for a piece of the action in India. But most don’t pose a threat at the best of times, and when times are tough – as was the case in the six months before India’s prime ministerial elections in May – only the strong can keep up.

Kotak and its closest competitors, Axis Capital and ICICI Securities, have all weathered the slowdown in 2019, jockeying for position, and have remained in Dealogic’s top five. But when Asiamoney’s entire awards period is taken into account, Kotak’s voracity in India’s hotly contested capital markets makes it more deserving than any of our award this year.

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