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Life Insurance Companies in India and IPO norms

Last Updated: Oct 19, 2011 | 228 Views

A number of life insurance companies have plans of going public and raising money in the process. The norms for IPOs of life insurance companies in India have not yet been finalised and companies would be eagerly looking forward to the same.

Many life insurance companies have started businesses in India in partnership with global biggies. This helps the venture in terms of expertise in the insurance domain (which is very important) by bringing in the best practices from across the world where the partners have typically been present for decades together. It also helps the insurance venture in India to raise funds for starting up and further expansion.

The current norms specify that the foreign ownership in any insurance company cannot be more than 26%. For example in Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company, which is a joint venture between Bajaj Finserv Limited and Allianz SE, the former holds 74% and the latter holds 26%. The total foreign ownership cannot exceed 26%.

Life insurance companies have long been asking for this limit of 26% to be increased to 49% which gives greater ownership to foreign players but the larger partner(s) would still be Indian entities. The Indian insurance market is a huge draw for the global insurance biggies and they would like to have a greater equity participation in the same by bringing in more money into the venture.

These factors are currently being considered by the Indian government and we should see some clarity in the coming months.

Deepak Yohannan
Deepak Yohannan is the CEO of MyInsuranceClub. He enjoys writing on Personal Finance and contributes regularly on sites like Reuters & Moneycontrol. He is a strong proponent of online insurance and is often found pointlessly babbling about it!

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