Business Standard, 12 March, 2015
Expecting the passage of Insurance Bill to bring in USD 8-10 billion of foreign capital into the industry, Reliance Capital today said it would soon begin talks with foreign partners for its insurance ventures.
Beside giving additional stake to its existing foreign partner Nippon Life in life insurance venture, the group also expects to close deals for bringing in new partners for its general and health insurance businesses soon.
Welcoming the passage of Insurance Bill in the Parliament this evening, Reliance Capital CEO Sam Ghosh told PTI it will help the industry attract the much-needed capital and expand the insurance penetration across the country.
"This is a huge positive and is expected to bring in USD 8-10 billion capital in the industry which will in turn help the industry to significantly improve insurance penetration in the country.
"We will be initiating dialogue with our partners in life insurance for increasing their stake and also hope to close the partners for our General insurance and health insurance businesses soon," he added.
Reliance Capital's unit Reliance Life Insurance already has Japan's Nippon Life as a foreign partner with 26 per cent stake, which has earlier said it is willing to hike its stake to 49 per cent as and when the law permits.
The passage of the bill was welcomed by many other players as well.
Bajaj Capital's MD Sanjiv Bajaj said that the bill will play a great role in determining the future of insurance industry and its growth, and "there are likely to be many interesting moves in the sector in the time to come."
Religare Enterprises' Group CEO Shachindra Nath said the Parliament's nod to the Insurance bill "has finally ushered in a long pending reform and paved the way to hike FDI in insurance to 49 per cent.
"This will surely send a positive signal to global insurance players in particular and foreign investors in general. A number of foreign partners have been eagerly waiting to raise their stake in domestic insurance ventures and Parliament's approval today will facilitate this much needed investment flow," he added.
Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co Ltd MD Ajay Bimbhet termed the passing of Insurance Bill "a historic move for the Indian insurance industry".
"Universal health being one of the primary motives of the new government, we can expect a sizeable FDI inflow into the Indian insurance industry. The investments would be channelled towards product innovations and to increase market penetration. With better economic conditions now, we can expect a double-digit growth for the entire industry. We remain optimistic on the development," he added.