EXPANDING BIZ Shriram Life may bid for HSBC’s 26% in Canara JV

Mumbai: Shriram Life Insurance is eyeing HSBC’s 26% stake in Canara HSBC Life Insurance. The Hyderabad-based life insurer sees the company promoted by banks as a complementary fit to its business, which is concentrated in the south at present with focus on smallticket policies.
“We are looking at opportunities as our book is still small with assets under management of around Rs 2,000 crore. One of the reasons for this is that we do not have a bancassurance partner,” said Shriram Life CEO Manoj Kumar Jain. He added that the company was also keen on geographic diversification from the South
which currently accounts for 60% of the company’s business. A host ofotherinsurance companies are also contenders for HSBC’s stake.
HSBC has decided to exit its life insurance business in India as part of its globalstrategy. The company is the foreign investor in a three-way joint venture with Canara Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce.
One advantage that Shriram has is that being a small company, the banks will continue to have a majority stake in the event of amerger with Shriram Life. Secondly, Sanlam Life of South Africa — which indirectly holds 26% stake in Shriram Life through its investment in Shriram Capital — will have headroom to make further investments.

Source :The Times of India.
Date : 13/06/2013
Writer: Mayur Shetty TNN


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