JPMorgan has hired Bharat Iyer to take on the post of head of Indian equity research. He will be based in the investment bankÆs Mumbai offices and his new position will also add responsibility for equity strategy and automobiles to his research portfolio.

He joins from Citigroup and will now report to Jose M. Linares, JPMorgan's Hong Kong based head of Asian equity research. The move also follows the recent transfer of five analysts from Hong Kong to India.

JPMorgan has also indicated that IyerÆs hiring will be the first of several in India, with the bank poised to lure senior and junior analysts over 2006.

For the past five years Iyer has honed his research skills at Citigroup where he covered auto and auto parts, conglomerates, construction and electrical equipment. He was also formerly an equity strategist at UBS.

He takes on the role following the departure of S. Venkatesh, who left the firm several months ago.