TAIB Bank has applied to India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board to open an investment banking subsidiary, TAIB Securities (TSL), in Bombay. It also plans to launch an Indian investment fund in the Gulf. The Bahrain- based bank will take a 51 per cent stake in TSL and provide an initial capital of Rs 50 million ($1.6 million). Indian partners will each take stakes of between 5-7 per cent.

The bank will focus initially on merchant banking operations, including underwriting, lead management, equity research and private placements. It also plans to expand activities to include treasury operations, foreign exchange advisory and derivatives transactions.

TSL is also aimed at helping Indian companies establish joint ventures in the Gulf. TAIB is advising two Indian investments in Bahrain, building a refinery for lubricants and a plastics manufacturing plant (MEED 11:2:94, Bahrain). These projects will pass to TSL when it opens for business.

TAIB was granted a foreign institutional investor licence, registered by the Securities & Exchange Board of India, in January (MEED 19:8:94; 18:2:94). It plans to launch the TAIB Everest Fund in early 1995 to raise $50 million-60 million from Gulf investors (MEED 4:3:94). The offshore fund will be routed through Mauritius to benefit from the island’s preferential tax status. State Bank of India is to be custodian.

TAIB is also increasing its operations in the central Asian republics, working with its Turkish subsidiary, Yatirim Bank, and local partners. It is establishing a joint-venture bank in Almaty with Kazakhstan’s Atakant Group. Atakant International Bank will specialise in trade finance and investment operations.