Citing the fast growing Indian derivatives market and a desire to offer more products to international investors, Deutsche Bank has expanded its futures execution and clearing capability in the region by opening its first exchange-based futures business in India.

The entity was opened through the bank's subsidiary Deutsche Equities India Private Limited and will be run through its Deustche Bank Global Exchange Services (GES) arm. The latter serves as its global futures and options services business, and is part of its global finance business.

According to Deutsche Bank GES, the Indian operations commenced at the start of July after receiving a licence from the India National Stock Exchange (NSE) in Mumbai in June. It will act to provide international clients with direct execution of Indian index products and single-stock futures.

The decision to choose India as the first place to launch its exchange-based futures business comes as the country is increasingly on radar screens for international investors, Deutsche Bank stresses. It follows a decision by Deutsche Bank GES to invest outside of traditional hubs and boost its product mix for individual markets.

ôThe India NSE now offers more single stock futures than any other exchange in the world and we expect the growth in the NSE derivatives contracts will continue at around a rate of 50% year-on-year," says Lou Ghirardello, Deustche BankÆs head of global markets finance, Asia-Pacific.

ôInternational clients seeking to access this market no longer have to move money between different companies; they can do it all with Deutsche Bank custody services, cash management and futures, with the assurance of DeutscheÆs global expertise and best practice standards.ö

Earlier in 2006, the firm opened a futures trading desk in Singapore, which added to its existing futures trading businesses in the Asia-Pacific region, situated in Sydney and Tokyo. The Singapore desk is headed by Mark Rechner, head of sales GES Asia and CEO of Deutsche Futures Singapore.

According to Deutsche Bank, it will continue to look at opportunities to expand GES capabilities in the region and work closely with individual regulators to identify further prospects.

The announcement by Deustche Bank clearly underscores the importance major banks see in the derivatives market. It comes mere weeks after Goldman Sachs was reported to be in discussions to acquire up to 10% in IndiaÆs National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX).