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US-BASED Prudential Financial (PFI) plans to start its asset management business in India in a 61:39 joint venture with real estate major DLF. The joint venture company will be called DLF Pramerica Asset Managers, and expects to start operations in India around mid-2008, subject to regulatory approvals.

The two partners will together invest $50 million in the new company. “India is an important market for us. As much as $140 billion of assets are under management in the country and the amount is continuously growing,” Prudential International Investments chairman & CEO Stephen Pelletier said. “Our venture will offer a wide choice of mutual funds and investment products to Indian consumers,” he added.

These investment products would initially be sold through third party financial institutions such as banks. “However, in a mediumto-long term, we would like to have proprietor-based distribution network,” Mr Pelletier said. On being asked the rationale of tying up with a non-finance company as its India partner, Mr Pelletier said, “DLF is a wellknown brand in India and has a thorough understanding of the local market conditions. The synergy is just right.”

This is the second JV between the two companies. The first one, for life insurance business was signed early this year in February. This business is also likely to commence operations next year. “The asset management JV, along with the life insurance partnership with Prudential, is a very formidable combination and will bring international standard of financial investment products to the Indian consumers,” DLF vicechairman Rajeev Singh said.

The JV company would also look at offering real estate mutual funds in India, as and when it is allowed by the government.

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