Fairfax Gets Stake in Catholic Syrian Bank

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Fairfax Financial Holdings has received Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s approval to acquire up to 51 per cent stake in Kerala-based Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB).

While Fairfax will have 51 per cent stake, its voting rights will be capped at 15 per cent.

It is for the first time that RBI has allowed a bank to sell its majority stake to a single private investor.

The Catholic Syrian Bank Limited (CSB) is an Indian private sector bank with its headquarters at Thrissur, Kerala, India. It is one of the oldest banks in India. The bank has a network of over 430 branches and more than 240 ATMs across India.

Fairfax Financial is a financial holding company based in Toronto, Ontario, which is engaged in property, casualty, and life insurance and reinsurance, investment management, and insurance claims management.

The company operates primarily through several subsidiaries, including Odyssey Re, Northbridge Financial, Crum & Forster and Zenith Insurance Company.

Fairfax is led by Chairman and CEO Prem Watsa. Watsa controls nearly half of Fairfax; his value-oriented investing strategies have been compared to those of Warren Buffett.

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