Reliance Money to install 7,500 kiosks by Dec '08

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Dubai, Feb 13 (UNI) Reliance Money (RML), the financial services and products distribution arm of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), today said it will install 7,500 web-enabled retail kiosks across India by the year-end to enable its investors in carrying out any kind of financial transaction.

''We will install 7,500 kiosk across India by the end of 2008,'' Reliance Money Director and CEO Sudip Bandyopadhyay told UNI here on the sidelines of a conference.

The trading platform provided by Reliance Money would help the investors in carrying out any kind of financial transaction (except banking), which included stock and commodity trading.

The platform also provides a single window to deal in insurance, MF, gold coins purchase and other products.

Like ATMs, these machines will be placed in Reliance Money outlets and prominent locations across the country, he added.

RML already has such kiosk in select Barista Coffee outlets.

The size of the market for financial intermediaries like brokers is still quite limited, considering the relatively small number of demat accounts. This, however, has shown trends of a significant change.

After installing these ATM-like machines, the figures would go up to 10,000 units.

Mr Bandyopadhyay said this model will be useful in remote areas, where concentration of investors is heavy and internet density is low.

The low penetration of the Internet is an impediment, but the rate of growth on this front has made RML optimistic of growth in the segment.

At present, about over 2,500 kiosks have become operational, Mr Bandyopadhyay said Indian brokerage firms are increasingly looking retail and institutional clients, taking into account the health of the capital markets and the intensity of competition among the brokerage companies.

The Indian retail brokerage market is showing phenomenal growth and is expected to reach 6,535.7 billion dollars by 2015.

Though the Indian brokerage industry has been consolidating steadily over the last 10 years, the share of the top 10 brokers has risen to only around one-fourth of the total industry revenues.

In this fragmented market, leading players like ICICI Direct, Kotak Securities, Indiabulls, and Sharekhan, are RML's competitors with strong retail brokerage portfolio.

RML today vends insurance and mutual funds. It has distribution tie-ups with 17 fund houses and a number of insurance companies.

The company also looks to provide such trading kiosks throughout the United Arab Emirates after obtaining regulatory approvals.

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