DSP Merrill Lynch ties up with OBC to distribute Mutual Fund

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (UNI) DSP Merrill Lynch Fund Managers today signed an agreement with Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) to distribute the companys mutual fund through its branches across the country.

The agreement with one of the countries largest public sector bank will enable the biggest fund managers to enhance their retail reach.

''Mutual Funds, as an investment avenue is becoming increasingly popular with the retail investor. Offering advice on mutual fund investments is an extension of the value-added services that are offered by banks. We see OBC as an important partner for providing asset management products to Indian investors'', said President and Chief Investment Officer, DSP Merrill Lynch Fund Managers S Naganath.

The company which began operations in 1997 has currently assets under management, including advisory and offshore funds, of Rs 34,083.7 crore as on December 31, 2007.

New York-based BlackRock which is the largest quoted asset management company in the world, managing assets in excess of 1.3 trillion dollars will acquire a 40 per cent stake in DSP Merrill Lynch Fund Managers and will be renamed 'DSP BlackRock Investment Managers', while DSP Merrill Lynch Mutual Fund will be renamed, 'DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund', added Mr Nagnath.

''Profits will not come from the core banking activities but other services have to be also looked in'', said Chairman and MD, OBC, Alok K Misra.The tie up is one of the many initiatives taken by the bank to provide its customers a combination of financial services and investment options under one roof, he added.

The bank's total income jumped 32.4 per cent to Rs 1,915.28 crore in the current quarter and registered cash recovery of Rs 389 crore in the current year.

''We will wait and watch for the present time but their can be some softening in the next fiscal, if opportunity comes we will like to give better interest rates to our customers'', said Executive Director OBC Allen C A Pereria, while replying on the interest rates issued by the RBI.

The bank also plans to add 60 new branches to its current strength of over 1300 to have an all India presence.

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