Investment bank Jefferies enters India


New Delhi : Leading investment bank Jefferies announced its foray into India Thursday with the opening of its representative office here.

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“Throughout the world, we work with growth companies to realise their business goals. It gives us tremendous pleasure to be setting up an office in new Delhi which will allow us to be closer to our clients in India,” Edward Males, head of Jefferies’ Indian operations, said at a press conference here.

Jefferies has been already working with Indian clients for around 30 months, completing 20 transactions and raising $1.4 billion (about Rs.55 billion) from global capital markets.

Its clients in India include NDTV, Adani Enterprises, Radico Khaitan, Gitanjali Gems and Zenith Infotech.

A team of nine professionals headed by Males will staff the new office here.

Stating that in keeping with its global strategy, the firm will concentrate on mid-market companies, Brian Friedman, chairman of the executive committee of Jefferies, said: “We don’t wake up in the morning to chase the top 1,000 global companies. We concentrate on the companies in the middle market, which are the real drivers of growth.”

He said that the company has grown rapidly in this decade, with seven continuous years of record revenues and earnings.

“We have been continuously diversifying as a firm overall and virtually operating in all segments,” he added.

He also claimed that Jefferies has outperformed several other leading investment banks in the New York Stock Exchange like Raymond James, Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

The company, which has 2,500 employees in 25 countries worldwide, saw its stock price rise 452 percent between Jan 1, 2000 and Sep 30 this year.

Friedman said that research was a very strong area for Jefferies, which helped it raise capital for its clients.

“Jefferies is in a very strong position in terms of providing advice and access to global markets to its clients,” he said, adding that the firm was expected to be very active in India’s booming infrastructure sector.

Asked if the firm would look at raising capital from the local market in India, he said: “We will have to decide whether we can get into the local capital raising market.”

Males said that the firm’s Indian transactions have mainly been foreign currency convertible bonds, American depository receipts, alternative investments market listings, and mergers and acquisitions.

Stating that Jefferies has introduced several new products for its Indian clients, he said: “We have led the Indian market with new structuring that has now become market practice.”

Through its India office, he said, the US-based firm would mainly focus on growing companies in India, China and Southeast Asia.