Soros buys 4% of Bombay bourse

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The Independent Online

The billionaire investor George Soros, famed for profiting from the collapse of sterling on Black Wednesday in 1992, has bought into the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Mr Soros, acting via his Quantum hedge fund, bought 4 per cent of the Indian bourse from Dubai Financial, part of the emirate's sovereign wealth fund. The move gives Mr Soros a foothold in Asia's oldest exchange, whose shareholder roster features Germany's Deutsche Börse and the Singapore Stock Exchange. The American philanthropist George Kaiser also owns about 4 per cent through his Argonaut Ventures vehicle. In total, foreign investors own about 30 per cent of the BSE.

Mr Soros's fund is believed to have paid about $35m (£23m) for the shares, valuing the Mumbai-based BSE, which hosts more than 4,900 companies, at $875m.

The stake is just short of the 5 per cent limit on individual investments in local exchanges. Dubai Financial initially invited bids about seven months ago.

The BSE, which was founded in 1875, is among the 10 largest exchanges in the world in terms of the combined market capitalisation of its listed companies, which stood at $1,280bn in February.