Morgan Stanley has hired Vikas Khattar from Citi as head of global capital markets (GCM) for India, in a move that will further strengthen its position across equity and debt origination. According to an internal announcement, Khattar will join in October and will report to Crawford Jamieson and George Taylor, the firm’s co-heads of GCM and equity capital markets (ECM) in Asia-Pacific.
In a nod to the growing trend of Indian companies pondering a listing in New York, London or even Hong Kong, Morgan Stanley has also promoted Samarth Jagnani to head of international listings in India. Jagnani is a vice-president in the India ECM team.
With more than 15 years in the industry, Mumbai-based Khattar is one of the most experienced capital markets bankers in India. At Citi, which he joined in June 2007, he was most recently head of South Asia equity and equity-linked capital markets. Before that he spent 11 years at DSP Merrill Lynch, the Indian investment banking arm of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in various roles across banking and ECM.
As per the announcement, Khattar has been involved in the execution of more than 100 transactions in India during his career, raising more than $40 billion for clients. Notable deals include last year’s $3.4 billion IPO for Coal India, which was the country’s largest-ever listing and counted both Citi and Morgan Stanley among the bookrunners. He also worked on the first-ever combined qualified institutional placement (QIP) of equity and convertible bonds for Larsen & Toubro in 2009, which raised $600 million, and a $750 million QIP of differential voting shares for Tata Motors.
At Morgan Stanley, Khattar will have overall responsibility not just for ECM, but for the DCM business as well. On the debt side, he will be supported by Anil Ladha, who is head of DCM, while Jagnani is the top man on the ECM side.
The hiring shows that banks remain positive about the development of India’s capital markets, despite thin equity issuance volumes this year and continuous complaints about the low fee levels. ECM volumes fell 51% to $8.2 billion in the first half of this year, according to Dealogic data. US dollar bond issuance volumes rose 200% in the first half to $6.7 billion, but including local currency bonds, total DCM volumes fell 19% from last year’s record to $19.1 billion.
Morgan Stanley has built a strong position in India ECM since it dissolved its joint venture with JM Financial in February 2007 and also has a growing position in DCM. The break-up with its Indian partner saw Morgan Stanley take full ownership of institutional equities sales, trading and research, while relinquishing its investment banking, fixed income and retail businesses to JM. This meant it has had to build its own investment banking businesses from scratch.
Last year it worked on Reliance Industries’ $573 million sale of treasury shares; the $575 million QIP for Infrastructure Development Finance Company; the $850 million QIP for Adani Enterprises; and the $70 million IPO by MakeMyTrip, which was the first US listing by an Indian company since 2006.
In the first half of this year, however, Morgan Stanley was outside the top 10 in the Indian league tables for both ECM and DCM. The ECM rankings were led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch with Citi in second place, while the DCM table was topped by Axis Bank, followed by Citi.