SINGAPORE, Oct 15 Axis Bank AXBK.BO, a Mumbai-based private sector bank, has set

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SINGAPORE, Oct 15 (Reuters) Axis Bank , a Mumbai-based private sector bank, has set up an asset management company and a trustee arm to diversify its range of businesses in India, its chairman and CEO P.J. Nayak said on Monday.

He also said the bank intends to provide wealth management services to customers from its branch in Singapore to grow its fledging overseas business.

Speaking at a press conference in Singapore, Nayak said asset management was ''a relatively low capital, high return business in India.'' ''There's strong synergy with our retail banking business,'' he added, pointing to the bank's network of 594 branches and counters across India.

Axis, formerly known as UTI Bank, posted a 60 percent rise in net profit to 2.28 billion rupees ($58.2 million) on Monday in the three months ended September 30 from a year earlier.

The earnings growth was spurred by a 73 percent rise in net interest income and 69 percent gain in fee income during the period.

Axis' net profit grew more than 30 percent in 30 of the 32 quarters since it started operations, and the bank expects to maintain the pace, Nayak said when asked to give an earnings outlook.

On Singapore, Nayak said the Singapore branch, set up 18 months ago, already has a balance sheet of over $1 billion. The branch is active in loan syndication and trading, and plans to offer wealth management services to rich retail customers via a tie up with Rothschild Europe.

REUTERS MP DS1620

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