Canara Bank picks 10% stake in Bangalore-based rating agency Brickwork

State-controlled lender Canara Bank Ltd has picked up 10 per cent stake in Bangalore-based Brickwork Ratings for an undisclosed amount, as per a stock market disclosure.

"Brickwork and Canara Bank are both Bangalore-based entities and they would collaborate in various activities related to banking and credit rating. The strategic investment would help take up joint activities on risk management, training, research, financial inclusion, credit rating models, events, conferences, etc," said RK Dubey, chairman and managing director of Canara Bank.

Incorporated in 2007, Brickwork offers rating services related to bank loan, NCD, commercial paper, MSME ratings and other grading services. It began its operations in Bangalore before expanding to other regions and has presence in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata as well as 40 cities in India. It has rated bank loan and bonds worth over Rs 200,000 crore.

"We are very excited to be partnering with a hundred-year old bank from Karnataka. Brickwork is committed to make a difference in the ratings industry and emphasises research, training and financial literacy," said Vivek Kulkarni, managing director, Brickwork Ratings.

Husband wife duo Vivek and Sangeeta Kulkarni has also set up a separate venture which is into research (including business intelligence) and consultancy besides remote secretarial assistance services. This business, housed under Brickwork India Pvt Ltd, previously raised funding from KITVEN Fund, which is managed by Karnataka Asset Management Co Ltd. The investor later exited in a buyback by the promoters, as per VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.

Other rating agencies in India include CRISIL, which is backed by S&P, besides Moody’s-backed ICRA and CARE which has a string of PE investors. All the three are public listed firms. Fitch Ratings is another international rating agency active in India.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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