UPDATE 1-Moelis names former UBS banker as India head
* Appoints former UBS India head Manisha Girotra
* Moelis plans to hire 10-12 bankers over a year - Girotra (Adds background on market, comments from Girotra)
MUMBAI, July 12 (Reuters) - Moelis & Co has launched its India operations with the hiring of Manisha Girotra, former chief executive of UBS AG in India, as its country head, the U.S. investment banking boutique said on Thursday.
Girotra, who had worked at UBS since 1998 before leaving in November, will be based in Mumbai.
In India, Moelis will compete in a crowded and notoriously low fee-paying market with global banks including Citigroup , Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered as well as a slew of domestic boutique banks for a share of the investment banking business.
Moelis is launching India operations at a time when most investment banks have been hit by a drop in mergers and acquisition and fund-raising activities due to slow economic and corporate growth.
"You have to be in India being a global investment bank," Girotra said by phone on Thursday. "At the moment there is a blip, we all know that, but the interest is very much there."
Moelis will offer M&A, equity offering and restructuring advisory services to companies in India and plans to hire 10 to 12 bankers for the local business over a year, she said.
India's once-scorching economic growth has dipped to its slowest pace in nine years, and deal flows have been sluggish for more than year, with some banks cutting jobs.
Even in good times, India is a tough investment banking market, with fierce competition and low fees. Some big equity deals by state companies do not generate any money for the banks.
Announced India M&A deal value fell nearly 35 percent in the first half of 2012 from a year-earlier period to $18.1 billion, while the amount of equity raised by companies dropped 4 percent to $7.1 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data. (Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Anand Basu)
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