Morgan Stanley to sell India mutual funds assets to HDFC

MUMBAI Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:40pm IST

An employee poses with the bundles of rupee notes inside a bank in Agartala, the capital of Tripura August 22, 2013. REUTERS/Jayanta Dey

An employee poses with the bundles of rupee notes inside a bank in Agartala, the capital of Tripura August 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jayanta Dey

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley (MS.N) is selling its Indian mutual fund assets to a joint venture between India's HDFC and Britain's Standard Life (SL.L), becoming the latest foreign asset manager to quit India.

HDFC Asset Management Company Ltd, India's biggest fund manager in terms of assets, said it will acquire Morgan Stanley Investment Management's eight mutual funds, with a combined 32.9 billion rupees under management, for an undisclosed sum.

The sale comes after Morgan Stanley sold its Indian private wealth management business to Standard Chartered (STAN.L) in May. No Morgan Stanley spokesman was immediately available for comment.

The sale of the fund assets marks the latest exit from India by a foreign player. Japan's Daiwa Asset Management offloaded its mutual fund schemes this year and Fidelity Worldwide exited last year.

Equity redemptions have reached $5.75 billion over the past five years because of volatile markets, taking a toll on management fees. On top of that the industry is struggling with rising regulatory costs.

"HDFC Mutual Fund has acquired a portfolio of strong performing domestic mutual fund schemes from Morgan Stanley and this acquisition is another step towards expanding our mutual fund customer base," Milind Barve, managing director of HDFC Asset Management said in a statement.

HDFC Asset Management is owned by India's Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC.NS) and Britain's Standard Life PLC (SL.L).

(Reporting by Himank Sharma; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)

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