RCap, Religare rope in foreign partners for banking foray

With barely five days to go before the deadline for submitting applications for new bank licences ends, companies are rushing in to meet rules through a flurry of deals. 

Anil Ambani-led group’s Reliance Capital on Wednesday said Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Bank and Nippon Life would become its strategic partners in the proposed banking venture, with each having 4-5% stake.

In another deal, the US-based Customers Bancorp Inc (CUBI) will invest in Religare Enterprises Limited through a combination of primary and secondary market investment as part of the promoters’ plans to bring down their shareholding to 49%, in order to qualify for applying for a bank licence.

A company statement said that Reliance Capital, which is already present in a host of non- banking financial services businesses, would be the main promoter of the proposed bank.

Companies wishing to set up banks would have to apply for licenses by July 1.

In the Religare deal, CUBI has agreed to invest $51 million (about Rs 306 crore) in Religare Enterprises through a combination of primary and secondary market instruments.

“CUBI management team expertise in global banking will be extremely supportive in our banking foray,” said Sunil Godhwani, chairman and MD, Religare Enterprises.


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