Television

Web18 getting into stock broking; partners with Ambit, Centurion Bank

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MUMBAI: TV18's internet ventures arm Web18 is moving into online stockbroking.

Web18, Ambit and Centurion Bank of Punjab have announced a partnership to pursue the fast-growing brokerage business with a strong internet presence in India.

In Ambit Capital, which will handle institutional and high-networth business, Ambit will hold 51 per cent while Web18 will have 29 per cent and Centurion Bank of Punjab 20 per cent, said Ambit promoter Ashok Wadhwa.

Ambit Web18 is the company that will handle retail business. "Ambit Capital will hold 51 per cent in this company, Web18 39 per cent and Centurion Bank of Punjab 10 per cent," Wadha said.

Apart from stock broking, a range of financial services including distribution of third party products, portfolio management services etc. will be offered by the venture. With increasing internet penetration in the country, retail customers will be serviced online by the venture, asserts an official release.

It will leverage upon the online presence of Web18's several internet properties including moneycontrol.com, easymf.com, poweryourtrade.com and commoditiescontrol.com as well as the extensive branch reach of Centurion Bank of Punjab. The businesses will be managed by a professional board chaired by Rana Talwar.

Ambit has extensive experience in providing financial services such as investment banking, stock broking and investment advisory services. Web18, a TV18 Group company, is a player in the Indian internet space with presence and partnerships including the online financial space ( moneycontrol.com), e-recruitment ( jobstreet.com), online travel (yatra.com) and allied ventures with over five million visitors per month.

With over three million customers at its 249 branches, Centurion Bank of Punjab has strong presence across the country and has significant understanding of the retail segment in India.

Ambit Corporate Finance partner and CEO Ashok Wadhwa said, "We are excited about partnering with a leading business media group and a leading bank in what we believe will create a truly world class Indian Brokerage House"

Web18 managing director Raghav Bahl added, "Considering Web18's strong positioning in the online information and transaction segment, a partnership in the e-broking space is a natural extension for us. With their expertise and strong reputation in the market place, our partner's will enable the venture in capturing a substantial market share in this business."

Speaking on the occasion, Centurion Bank of Punjab managing director and CEO Shailendra Bhandari said "We are very pleased with this initiative, which will enable the bank to offer an increasing array of sophisticated financial products to our mass affluent and our high net-worth customers. By adding broking services, the bank will be able to complete its suite of wealth management services, which currently includes complete financial advisory services and distribution of products such as mutual funds and life insurance."

The joint venture is subject to obtaining all regulatory approvals. Amarchand Mangaldas are the legal advisors to the joint venture, adds the release.

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