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Credit Suisse taps JPM exec to head India i-banking

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Credit Suisse is hiring Vedika Bhandarkar, a veteran investment banker at rival JPMorgan <JPM.N>, to beef up its investment banking business in India.

Bhandarkar, who has been head of investment banking for India at JPMorgan, will be vice chairman and India head for investment banking as well as head of the global markets solutions group for India at Credit Suisse, the Swiss banking firm said.

Bhandarkar will be joined at Credit Suisse, which has not recently been a top player in underwriting equity deals in India, by JPMorgan's Sandeep Pangal, who will be a managing director in investment banking coverage.

The moves mark the second set of high-profile defections from JPMorgan in India in as many months.

Last month, Kaku Nakhate, who had headed JPMorgan's India equities business, left the bank to return to Bank of America Merrill Lynch <BAC.N>, where she will head the U.S. bank's India operations. She is bringing two former JPMorgan colleagues with her.

"We are delighted that Vedika and Sandeep are joining Credit Suisse to accelerate the growth of our franchise," Vikram Malhotra, co-head of the investment banking department, Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse, said in an email.

"India is central to our strategy and we are confident that Vedika and Sandeep can build on our momentum to take the business to the next level," he said.

Credit Suisse does not factor in the equity underwriting league tables for India this year after ranking 12th in 2009, according to Thomson Reuters data. JPMorgan ranks 7th so far this year, after finishing last year in third place.

(Reporting Tony Munroe and Indulal P.M.; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)

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