SOURCE: Robeco

March 19, 2007 05:15 ET

Launch of Canara Robeco Asset Management

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 19, 2007 --


Canara Bank of India, and Netherlands-based asset manager Robeco, today announced, a joint asset management venture in India, named Canara Robeco. The joint-venture, which is still subject to regulatory approval, will develop Canara Bank's existing asset management arm, Canbank Mutual Fund, into an industry leader.

Canara Bank, one of the largest banks in India, has an outstanding relationship with public-sector pension institutions and a 30- million customer base in a 2,500 branch nationwide distribution network. Robeco has broad-ranging asset management expertise, both in Europe and the USA. The partnership will be one of equals in terms of governance, with Canara Bank retaining 51% of the shares. The joint venture aims at a 50-50 balance between retail and institutional clients, as well as between equity and other products, in terms of assets under management.

Sri M. B. N. Rao, Canara Bank Chairman and Managing Director, said, "This partnership is complementary in nature. Canara Bank's excellent presence in the Indian financial industry provides volume, while Robeco, with its wealth of experience and broad-ranging asset management expertise, will focus on generating higher margins on that volume through strategic actions, operational and process improvements."

Canara Robeco Asset Management will offer a comprehensive range of schemes to investors across India consisting of plain vanilla funds and a flagship fund in every major asset class. In the next phase, plain vanilla funds with a 'twist' will be introduced, followed by structured and alternative products. Once the pension market develops, enhanced index funds will be introduced. The new joint venture will position itself as a full-spectrum player, not only providing traditional products, but also seeking to popularise innovative products reserved for niche market segments.

Mr. George Möller, Chief Executive Officer, Robeco Groep N.V., said, "Robeco sees the Indian market as having sizeable business potential. With international global focus now directed towards India, it is increasingly more attractive for global players to create synergies of success between themselves and strong Indian partners. Robeco has planned to enter India's mutual fund industry via this promising joint venture."

Rabo India Finance Limited, a 100% subsidiary of Rabobank International in India, were the sole advisors to Robeco on this transaction.

About Robeco

Robeco provides discretionary asset-management products and services, as well as a complete range of mutual funds to a large number of institutional and retail clients worldwide. Robeco's product range encompasses fixed-income and equity investments, as well as balanced accounts, money-market funds and alternative investments.

Robeco distributes its funds for the retail market directly, and through other financial institutions. Several of its mutual funds, including the flagship Robeco N.V., are listed on major European stock exchanges such as Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt and London.

Robeco services its clients not only from its head office in Rotterdam but also from its European offices in Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. In the United States, Robeco has offices in New York, Boston, Greenbrae, Los Angeles, Honolulu and Toledo (Harbor Capital Advisors). Robeco also has an office in Bahrain and an office in Japan.

Robeco is the center for asset management within the Rabobank Group and has full operational independence. The combination of the highest credit ratings from the major international rating agencies and the highest Sustainability Cluster Score within the banking sector reflects the high added value Rabobank has always offered its investors, members, clients and employees.

Ronald Florisson, Robeco Corporate Communications
Office: +31 - 10 - 224 28 10
Mobile: +31 - 653 - 831 586
E-mail: ronald.florisson@robeco.com

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