Amas Bank Ltd, the Switzerland-based banking entity of Hinduja Group, has acquired a 40% stake in Chennai based stock broking firm Paterson Investment and Consultancy Services (Patco). This news comes after Amas Bank announced its plans to launch an India-dedicated private equity fund. The company has said in a release that the stake acquisition is part of Amas Bank's growth strategy to expand its presence in the Indian capital markets. The Hindujas are also the promoters of private sector lender IndusInd Bank.

Patco will one amongst many Chennai-based non-banking finance (NBFC) company to be acquired by overseas financial institutions to enter Indian markets. AIG Capital had bought a 75% stake in Chennai-based Vivek Hire Purchase in 2006. British bank Barclays bought another

Chennai-based company Rank Investments. Then DBS Bank of Singapore also bought a stake in city-based Cholamandalam Investment Finance Company.

Patco offers services like stock broking, derivatives trading, portfolio and wealth management, NRI services, government securities,corporate advisory / investment banking and allied financial services. It has 20 retail branches across India, a majority of which are in the south. Once amongst the biggest brokerages in India, Patco has seen its market share fall since electronic trading system was introduced.

Amas also plans to launch asset management business and has recently hired K C Reddy, the former head of Fortis India Investments. It has a presence in 32 countries with 35,000 employees.

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