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Indiabulls Housing Finance bought a 40% stake in OakNorth Bank for Rs 660 crore ($100 million), the Economic Times reported on Thursday. This the first time an Indian housing finance company has bought a stake in a United Kingdom bank. OakNorth, set up in 2013 by start-up investor Rishi Khosla to provide loans to small businesses, was identified by an investment committee headed by Indiabulls Housing Director KC Chakrabarty. Indiabulls Housing Finance is India’s biggest nonbank lender to small and medium enterprises.
The stake purchase proposal was cleared ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK on Thursday. The company has received regulatory approvals from both the UK and India. Indiabulls has several investments in London, which together exceed Rs 4,200 crore, the group’s chairman Sameer Gehlaut said. Last year, it acquired a commercial property in the British capital by bidding Rs 1,500 crore.