Private-sector lender Dhanalakshmi Bank has obtained market regulator Sebi’s approval for starting its merchant banking business and besides, is close to acquire a major stake in an existing asset management company, a top bank official said.

“We have got Sebi approval for starting our merchant banking business. We have also zeroed—in on an existing asset management company in which we intend to take a major stake,” Dhanalakshmi Bank’s Managing Director and CEO Amitabh Chaturvedi, told PTI here.

The merchant banking business will be headed by Parag Kothari who has joined the bank from Cholamandalam, he said.

No subsidiary has been set up and a division within the bank will presently conduct the merchant banking business, he said, adding “this will add to our bouquet of services.”

The bank intends to pursue businesses such as lead-managing public issues, deal structuring, QIPs and stake-sale, among others, he said.

On its foray into mutual funds, Chaturvedi said that the bank has zeroed-in on an existing player in which it plans to take either a 49 per cent or 51 per cent stake.

“Negotiations are in the final stages,” he said.

The bank had earlier shortlisted four MF players for either a buy-out or a stake-buy.

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