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Order a Jamini Roy classic

business Updated: Dec 13, 2007 21:38 IST
Avijit Ghosal

You can soon call your share broker to place an order for a Jamini Roy or Jogen Chowdhury classic. Sounds incredible? Well, no longer so.

Eastern Financiers, a 40-year-old Kolkata-based stock broking house, is about to offer these services to clients, while another has firmed up plans to start shortly.

The broking houses are certain that investors would find it lucrative enough to invest in art as much as they do for stocks and shares.

“People have made money from shares and mutual funds and I am sure they’ll make money from art as well,” said Ambarish Agarwal, director, Eastern Financiers. Though the firm has not decided on a date, Agarwal says they would open sometime in 2008.

Eastern Financiers has already started mentoring select transactions. The plan is now to scale up and give it an institutional framework.

Welcoming the move senior artist Jogen Chowdhury said: “Such moves would broad base the art market and develop a commercial art culture. Everybody in the chain would benefit.”

Brokerages will ask clients to park a small portion of their funds in objects of art. Agarwal puts the figure in the range of 1-2 per cent of the total portfolio clients maintain with them.

Clients would be advised to invest for a fixed period, three years in this case, and resembles a typically close-ended mutual fund.

Moreover, brokers intend to use it as a portfolio diversifier: as a different asset class, art will help lower risks arising out of investments only in shares and mutual funds.