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Friday, Aug 25, 2006

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Money & Banking - Mergers & Acquisitions
Barclays scouts for more buys

M. Ramesh

Chennai , Aug 24

The UK-based Barclays Bank is looking for "a number of small acquisitions" in India, Mr Jason Nisse, Public Relations Director, told Business Line.

These acquisitions will support "our mainly organic expansion in India," he said in an e-mail. Mr Nisse, however, did not want to give any details of Barclays's acquisition of the Chennai-based Rank Investment and Credit Ltd for a consideration of $7.5 million."The $7.5-million investment is part of our strategy to develop our investment and commercial banking capability in India. Rank offers us a good opportunity to create a platform for further organic expansion of these operations," he said, adding that he was unable to discuss anything further "at this present time."

Rank Investment and Credit Ltd is a non-deposit taking non-banking finance company.

When contacted, the CEO of the company, Mr M. Ram Mohan, was not willing to discuss anything about the Barclays deal or anything about the company.

Also, the Reserve Bank of India's NBFC division would not even give a background about Rank.

It has not been possible to ascertain on what basis the valuation of $7.5 million has been arrived at.

Mr Nisse said that as announced in March, Barclays had earmarked $370 million for its Indian operations. "We are making a number of small acquisitions."

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