Morgan Stanley selling its Indian private bank - sources

Wed Nov 7, 2012 3:33am EST

The headquarters of Morgan Stanley is pictured in New York June 1, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

The headquarters of Morgan Stanley is pictured in New York June 1, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer

(Reuters) - Morgan Stanley (MS.N) has launched the sale of its India private wealth business, which manages about $1 billion including loans, after entering the highly fragmented and competitive market just four years ago, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Wealth management platforms are usually sold for about 2 to 3 percent of the assets under management, although the sources said it was not yet clear what price tag the unit could fetch.

Morgan Stanley has launched a strategic review of the division, the sources said, a process that typically ends with a sale.

The review is part of the bank's efforts to withdraw from subscale wealth management operations globally, one of the sources said.

The sources declined to be named because the sale process is not public.

A Morgan Stanley spokesman declined to comment.

The bank's India unit sale underscores a growing trend of consolidation in Asia's wealth management industry as private banks struggle to earn profits due to rising regulatory costs and wafer-thin advisory fees.

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar in Singapore and Sumeet Chatterjee in Mumbai; Additional reporting by Nishant Kumar; Editing by Denny Thomas, Michael Flaherty and Edmund Klamann)

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