Hinduja Group, a multinational Indian conglomerate headquartered in London, is in talks with two UAE banks to explore acquisition prospects.
Speaking to UAE’s Khaleej Times, Gopichand P. Hinduja, co-chairman of the $37.1 billion turnover group, said the company is also seriously looking at the option of moving their headquarters either to the UAE or Singapore from London in the wake of uncertainties brought about by Brexit.
“We are primarily concerned about the ease of doing business as well as a stable business environment. In those two areas, the UAE is quite unique. We feel quite at ease in the UAE in particular,” said Gopichand, the second son of group founder Parmanand Hinduja.
In the UAE, the group has diversified business interests ranging from petrochemicals, and finance to bus/truck manufacturing. In Ras Al Khaimah, the group’s Ashok Leyland operates a commercial vehicle assembling facility.
Gopichand, who was accompanied by his younger brother Ashok, said the group, which is the promoter and the major shareholder of the world’s first NRI bank, IndusInd bank, has been offered several options in UAE financial services.
“We never know what will follow in your lap. You have to look for synergies, you have to do due diligence. It could be that some of the financial institutions that are not well-managed require strategic strong alliances from groups like ours,” said Gopichand, who along with his elder brother Srichand Hinduja was ranked as the wealthiest in Britain with a combined wealth of 16.2 billion in the Sunday Times Rich List 2017. The Hinduja Group, which is currently focusing on expanding its financial services operations, wants to do more than just run one bank in India.
“Within financial services, there are myriad opportunities to grow in India and elsewhere. In the UAE, we are just exploring such opportunities,” said Gopichand, who declined to reveal the names of the two UAE banks involved in the talks.
“Our group is committed to the UAE when it comes to investments. Despite the uncertainties in world politics, the UAE is quite unparalleled in its cosmopolitan outlook and it has the best relations with India. The world is going from globalization to protectionism, and as well diversified group with worldwide presence, we believe globalisation is the only route that can keep society happy and the world economy interconnected,” said Ashok.