BNP Paribas Securities Services can now provide local custody services from its Mumbai office, following approval of its custody licence by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

The move follows similar developments in Hong Kong and Singapore last year and is in line with the French bank's global strategy and growth in Asia. BNP Paribas plans to set up custody operations in other Asian countries, but would give no further details at this stage.

"India is a priority for the group," says Pierre-Alexandre Thome, head of BNP Paribas Securities Services in Mumbai. "It is an emerging marketplace where we have to be as our clients are more and more investing in India."

Vaisshali Babu heads up custody in the country, having joined BNP Paribas last year from Merrill Lynch. She has more than 15 years' experience in global custody management.

BNP Paribas Securities Services operates a joint venture with Chennai-based Sundaram Business Services, set up in November 2008. Sundaram BNP Paribas Fund Services delivers fund administration and services to Indian asset managers and institutional investors, while BNP Paribas Sundaram Global Securities Operations -- headed by Patrick Vanderbeck -- provides transaction-processing and middle-office operations.

BNP Paribas has $4.65 trillion in assets under custody worldwide.