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SBI Capital Markets to boost equity, M&A business
April, 14th 2010

SBI Capital Markets, the investment banking unit of the country's top lender, State Bank of India, has a pipeline of 20 equity issues that it will be managing over the next 3-4 months, its CEO said.

The investment bank is also aiming to play a larger role in mergers and acquisitions in 2010 as it intends to leverage its parent's banking relationship with Indian corporates.

"SBI Caps was a little quiet last year as the equity market was not very active. Now that we are seeing a potential in the market, we are fully geared up for that and we have a big pipeline ahead of us," Managing Director and Chief Executive S.Vishvanathan told Reuters in an interview late on Tuesday.

In 2009, SBI Caps was involved in five major equity issues that raised 136.5 billion rupees ($3.1 billion).

This included mega issues such as that of state-owned NHPC Ltd, which raised $1.25 billion, and privately owned Adani Power, which raised $630 million.

It is banking on the nearly $9 billion worth of disinvestments planned by the government in the current fiscal year which started on April 1.

SBI Caps, which, with $29.5 billion, topped the league tables in Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) in syndicated loan arrangements in 2009, has been a minor player in M&As so far.

"We are not a major player in that but this year our focus is going to be in that area in a major way," Vishvanathan said.

He said the company's ability to do M&As was high, as by virtue of being a loan arranger it had a relationship with every large corporate in the country and could also leverage its parent's banking relationship.

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