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ICRA picks up 33 pc stake in Online IndiaCapital

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(From left) Mr P.K. Choudhury, Managing Director, ICRA, Mr Aditya Agarwal, Director, Online IndiaCapital.com Ltd, and Mr N. Balasubramanian, Deputy MD, SIDBI, at a news conference in Mumbai on Thursday.

MUMBAI, July 3

RATING agency ICRA Ltd is to widen its role in the mutual funds industry by picking up stake in a mutual funds information Web Site and collaboration with Moody's Investors Service for rating of mutual funds. Moody's is the majority shareholder in ICRA at 21.75 per cent.

ICRA today announced its 33 per cent equity acquisition in Online IndiaCapital.com Ltd, the Mumbai-based promoter of MutualFundsIndia.com at about Rs 50 lakh, said Mr P.K. Choudhury, Managing Director of ICRA, at a press conference here today.

Online IndiaCapital.com will now have the following shareholding pattern: Private promoters - 34 per cent; ICRA - 33 pc and SIDBI - 33pc.

The equity stake of the private promoters stands reduced from 67 per cent to 34 per cent due to ICRA's entry through the issuance of additional shares.

The acquisition of the online entity is aimed to possibly serve as a special purpose vehicle for a business process outsourcing initiative by ICRA. The website will not just provide mutual funds investor information, but also insurance and equity investor information, wealth management tools and also make information from ICRA real time, explained Mr Choudhury.

ICRA has investments of Rs 60 crore across 23 companies and the latest acquisition was made because of the "strong technical and innovation capabilities of Online IndiaCapital.com.''

ICRA also has on its cards a collaborated rating system for mutual funds. Currently, ICRA on its own conducts credit quality rating, and now through collaboration with Moody's, both investment and management quality of mutual funds will also be rated, said Mr Choudhury.

Moody's, which scaled up its equity stake in ICRA from 10 per cent to 21.75 per cent over a two-year period, is perhaps entering into a collaborated rating system for the first time.

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