India's HDFC Bank & Singapore Telecom start joint venture

New Delhi, Jan 19 (Asia Pulse) - India's HDFC Bank and Singapore Telecom (SingTel)today announced a joint venture for foray into e-commerce in India with aninitial capital investment of Rs 150 million. The new company 'Sesami.

New Delhi, Jan 19 (Asia Pulse) - India's HDFC Bank and Singapore Telecom (SingTel) today announced a joint venture for foray into e-commerce in India with an initial capital investment of Rs 150 million.

The new company 'Sesami.India' would market and operate Sesami.com, 100 per cent subsidiary of SingTel, portal and e-commerce solutions for the Indian market.

The company will start offering commercial services from April 1, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh said after signing the deal. SingTel would contribute 60 per cent of the initial capital investment while 40 per cent would be shared equally by HDFC and HDFC Bank, Parekh said.

HDFC Bank also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Computer System (NCS), another 100 per cent subsidiary of SingTel for setting up a payment gateway facilitating payments by Master and Visa card holders to make payments for commercial transactions, Managing Director of HDFC Bank Aditya Puri said.

Asked about HDFC's role and benefits to HDFC in this deal, Parekh said "HDFC is a promoter of HDFC Bank and all investment are joint investments and not benefits to any individual company." The deal was signed by Lee Kwok Cheong, Chairman of Sesami.com from Singapore and Parekh and Puri from India in presence of Union Minister for IT Pramod Mahajan. Mahajan said the present deal with SingTel would increase the penetration of internet and encourage e-commerce in India.

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