Sunday, February 22, 2009

Reliance Money goes ahead of Thomas Cook to become biggest currency exporter

Reliance Money has overtaken Thomas Cook to become the largest aggregator and exporter in the currency business.

Reliance Money Express became the No. 1 wholesaler by reaching the target of exporting Rs 10,000 crore in this fiscal. “We buy currencies from retailers and export them to banks overseas. We have gone ahead of Thomas Cook, which was the biggest wholesaler till now,” Sudip Bandyopadhyay, CEO of Reliance Money, told The Telegraph.

The Bank of America and Emirates Post are the key importers of currencies. Reliance Money Express is the sole authorised agent of the Bank of America in Southeast Asia and is looking to tie up with other overseas banks.

The financial services and solution provider mainly exports currencies such as the swiss Franc from its two hubs in New Delhi and Cochin.

There are around five major currency aggregators in the country, with Thomas Cook and Weizmann being the key players.

Reliance Money has been able to command a leadership in the wholesale segment because of its competitive margins, Bandyopadhyay said.

“Margins or pricing have to be competitive for retailers to sell their currency to us,” he said. The Anil Ambani firm has made deep inroads into north and south India and is looking to enhance its presence in the western parts of the country, where Thomas Cook is big.

Reliance Money Express was formed after the Anil Ambani group acquired Travelmate Services Pvt Ltd — part of Kuoni Group — in 2006.

The company is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Capital.

Travelmate has been in the money transfer and money changing business since 1993. Subsequently, it also acquired a stake in Wall Street Finance, which consolidated its position in the foreign exchange and money remittance services business.

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